Berlin - Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has deposed Chancellor Angela Merkel from top of the list of Germany's most popular politicians, according to a survey released Friday.
An opinion poll conducted for German semi-public broadcaster ZDF showed the Social Democrat (SPD) minister with a rating of 1.7, marginally higher than Merkel's 1.6.
Steinmeier is considered a potential challenger to Merkel for the chancellorship in national elections due to take place in September 2009.
He is currently vice chancellor in the grand coalition with Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU).
The survey showed that 39 per cent would vote for the CDU against 28 per cent for the SPD if elections were to be held now.