Challenge from left’s new saviour Martin Schulz fades among voters content with economic success
Not long ago, he was seen as a bearer of hope, not just for his own party, Germany’s Social Democrats, but for the whole of the embattled European left. He was nicknamed “Sankt Martin”, the man who had the potential to topple Angela Merkel from her throne after almost 12 years and bring a wave of fresh ideas that would reinvigorate a political landscape turned staid by her long-term presence.
Martin Schulz, 61, was even being looked to closely by Jeremy Corbyn’s advisers at a time when the Labour leader was struggling to mobilise support. They marvelled at how he had burst on to Berlin’s political stage and was inspiring a new generation of young voters, while encouraging those who had abandoned the party to return in their thousands.