With her political dream-team poised to capture 51 per cent of the vote in next month's elections, Angela Merkel hardly needed to show off her generous cleavage to attract support.
But in Berlin, one member of her family-oriented conservative party is hoping that the German Chancellor's breasts – juxtaposed with her own – will secure victory in a tight race. Vera Lengsfeld is the Christian Democrat candidate in the eastern Berlin district of Freidrichshain, and yesterday placards distributed in the area were a little racier than typical campaign fare.
They carried a 2008 picture of Ms Merkel in a revealing low-cut evening dress alongside a photograph of Ms Lengsfeld in comparable attire that emphasised her own considerable bosom. "We have more to offer," boasted the accompanying slogan.
Yesterday, German politicians, female and male alike, were strangely reticent about the poster's assertion. A party spokesman was adamant that head office had nothing to do with it.
Mrs Lengsfeld, a former East German dissident, said that the decision to deploy the cleavage on the placards and on her website was hers alone.
"The Chancellor would never have allowed me to do this, otherwise everyone would have wanted to do it," Mrs Lengsfeld said. "I am sure Mrs Merkel is smiling about it, she's got a sense of humour after all." The Chancellor declined to comment yesterday.
Mrs Lengsfeld, who was jailed by the Stasi in East Germany, said her website had been visited more than 17,000 times since she uploaded the photographs. She said she needed an eye-catching poster to help her win a seat in the left-wing Berlin borough where her party won only 12.4 per cent of the vote in elections four years ago.
Several visitors to her website welcomed the cleavage photographs as a witty contribution to an otherwise dull and lacklustre election campaign.
Whatever the result of Mrs Lengsfeld's race, the overall result of the national election appears to be settled already. Opinion polls published by Germany's Forsa research group yesterday suggested that Ms Merkel's conservatives were likely to romp to victory with their preferred future coalition partners, the liberal, market-oriented Free Democrats. The two parties combined were on course to win 51 per cent of the vote.
Ms Merkel's current grand coalition partners, The Social Democrats, polled 21 per cent and the Greens and Left Party had the support of 12 and 11 per cent of voters respectively.
The Free Democrats saw a rise in support. The party has suffered poor election results in the past due to its public image of it being made up of selfish and incorrigible turbo-capitalists.Reuse content