The Race to Succeed Merkel Germany's Conservatives Face a Fight for Their Future

Chancellor Angela Merkel's party is looking for a leader. But its current crisis shows that there is far more at stake: The Christian Democratic Union is fighting for its future direction, and perhaps for its very existence. By DER SPIEGEL Staff
The outgoing leader of the Christian Democratic Union, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The outgoing leader of the Christian Democratic Union, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

Foto: 

HC PLAMBECK

Friedrich Merz is widely considered to be the most likely candidate to replace Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as leader of the CDU. Fully 40 percent of Germans surveyed view him as a good chancellor candidate, according to a recent survey by Infratest dimap.

Friedrich Merz is widely considered to be the most likely candidate to replace Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer as leader of the CDU. Fully 40 percent of Germans surveyed view him as a good chancellor candidate, according to a recent survey by Infratest dimap.

Foto: Jens B¸ttner/ picture alliance/dpa
North Rhine-Westphalia Governor Armin Laschet is ready to throw his hat into the ring this time around. When the CDU last had to choose a leader, he backed out of the race. Thirty percent of Germans see him as a good chancellor candidate.

North Rhine-Westphalia Governor Armin Laschet is ready to throw his hat into the ring this time around. When the CDU last had to choose a leader, he backed out of the race. Thirty percent of Germans see him as a good chancellor candidate.

Foto: 

Federico Gambarini/ dpa

Health Minister Jens Spahn is thought to have a bright future ahead of him, particularly given his support among the more conservative members of the CDU. But he is still young and just 24 percent of Germany see him as a good candidate for chancellor.

Health Minister Jens Spahn is thought to have a bright future ahead of him, particularly given his support among the more conservative members of the CDU. But he is still young and just 24 percent of Germany see him as a good candidate for chancellor.

Foto: Michael Kappeler/ DPA
Bavarian Governor Markus Söder has said he intends to stay in Bavaria. But he will have an important word to say in who becomes the chancellor candidate for the Union. Some 31 percent of Germans view him as a good chancellor candidate.

Bavarian Governor Markus Söder has said he intends to stay in Bavaria. But he will have an important word to say in who becomes the chancellor candidate for the Union. Some 31 percent of Germans view him as a good chancellor candidate.

Foto: Armin Weigel/ picture alliance/dpa
DER SPIEGEL 8/2020
Foto: 

DER SPIEGEL