Political barometer

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The Politbarometer is a broadcast by ZDF that is normally broadcast monthly on Friday evenings. In addition to the Sunday question , it shows the current and long-term trends on political issues in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The main focuses of the Politbarometer include:

  • the political mood in Germany
  • the projection - if there really was a choice next Sunday
  • the evaluation of the main politicians
  • Survey on current topics from politics and business

The survey has been taking place since 1977 and was initially carried out once a month. The first poll in the ZDF program was presented on March 17, 1977. The first independent edition of the Politbarometer was published on April 29, 1977 in the Bonn Perspektiven . The Politbarometer was later presented on Mondays following the heute-journal . The current time slot is Friday evening around 10:23 p.m. according to the heute-journal . After the unification of the two German states, the Politbarometer Ost was also set up from 1991 to 1995, including im Blickpunkt . An all-German political barometer has existed since January 1996. Since January 2002 the population has been surveyed every two to three weeks. Before parliamentary elections a special survey will take place the political barometer for the respective State. In the last few weeks before the federal election , the program runs every week.

Until March 2010, the moderator of the Politbarometer was Bettina Schausten , former head of ZDF's main editorial office for interior, social and educational policy. Until 2014, the show was moderated by Theo Koll , who on March 1, 2010 took over the management of ZDF's main editorial office for interior, social and educational policy. On July 1, 2014 Matthias Fornoff became head of the main editorial department “Politics and Current Affairs” and is now also responsible for moderating the Politbarometer.

The research group Wahlen is responsible for the survey, which surveyed around 1000 randomly selected citizens from the old federal states and around 700 from the new federal states, whereby the overquotation of the new federal states is then compensated arithmetically so that "arithmetically" 1250 respondents which are representative of the entire population of the Federal Republic of Germany. Around forty questions are asked in the telephone interviews, some with and some without answer specifications. The data is collected from Tuesday to Thursday. Politbarometers can be obtained from the Central Archives for Empirical Social Research in GESIS .

The Elections Research Group also provides all the forecasts and analyzes for the ZDF election programs. A similar survey is the ARD Germany trend presented by the ARD and the daily newspapers .


Current moderators

Former moderators

Evaluation of the most important politicians

The following politicians have taken first place as "most popular politician" in the rating of the ten most important politicians since 2004:

Politician Political party In first place for the first time Last time in first place
Joschka Fischer Green Jan. 16, 2004 Jan. 28, 2005
Christian Wulff CDU Feb 25, 2005 Nov 11, 2005
Matthias Platzeck SPD Nov 25, 2005 Dec 9, 2005
Horst Seehofer CSU Jan. 27, 2006 Feb 17, 2006
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg CSU July 24, 2009 Apr 1, 2011
Peer Steinbruck SPD June 10, 2011 Nov 25, 2011
Hannelore Kraft SPD June 15, 2012 June 15, 2012
Frank-Walter Steinmeier SPD Aug 18, 2006 Jan. 27, 2017
Martin Schulz SPD 17th Feb 2017 17th Feb 2017
Cem Ozdemir Green June 29, 2018 June 29, 2018
Olaf Scholz SPD 13th July 2018 13th July 2018
Wolfgang Schäuble CDU Sep 11 2015 15th March 2019
Robert Habeck Green March 28, 2019 June 6, 2019
Winfried Kretschmann Green Apr 8, 2016 27 Sep 2019
Angela Merkel CDU Jan. 13, 2006 currently in first place
(as of July 31, 2020)

The list of the “ten most important politicians” is updated regularly, around six times a year, according to the surveys. Angela Merkel has been there without interruption since at least 2004 , and Horst Seehofer since September 2011 .

Use of the term Politbarometer in Austria

In Austria the term Politbarometer is used by the daily newspaper Heute and the datenwerk Innovationsagentur GmbH. The Today newspaper uses the term political barometer in terms of popularity. The newspaper asks readers whether a politician has received positive or negative feedback in the past 14 days. Datenwerk Innovationsagentur GmbH's political barometer scours the network and returns results on Austrian politicians. This allows users to find out which politicians are being talked about most on the internet.


  • Andreas M. Wüst (Ed.): Politbarometer. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2003.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. see methodology of the Politbarometer studies (article on www.forschungsgruppe.de, accessed on October 24, 2015)
  2. Archived copy ( memento of the original from March 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.gesis.org
  3. forschungsgruppe.de: Politbarometer press releases since 2004
  4. Example of the "Today Politbarometer". Accessed April 9, 2018
  5. Example of the Politbarometer from datenwerk Innovationsagentur GmbH. Accessed February 27, 2019