A poll on Sunday revealed that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, a candidate for continuity advocated by the party elite, won a tight victory against the most conservative Friedrich Merz in a second round earlier this month to designate the new leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). victory earned him to be elected Chancellor in place of Ms Merkel, who supported him in his ascent.
Pollster Emnid's survey of the weekly Bild am Sonntag revealed that 45% of the 507 voters polled wanted Kramp-Karrenbauer to play a leading role among Germany's top politicians in the coming year, before Merkel with 40%.
Merz said he was ready to return to full-time politics and could even be a minister.
A separate survey, conducted by pollster YouGov, showed that 43% of respondents wanted Merkel to remain Chancellor until the end of the legislature in 2021, as she would like, with 38% wanting her to leave earlier and 18 % undecided.
Merkel's fate depends in part on her coalition partner, the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), whose leaders are under pressure from some members to withdraw from the government and rebuild themselves in the opposition. .
"In the new generation, we can focus on the essentials and do a good job," Nahles told Welt am Sonntag.