In West Germany scuffles broke out at an election rally in Frankfurt on Friday night (10 September) as Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was about to address the crowd.
GV: crowd at SPD rally
MV: Willy Brandt steps onto podium (2 shots)
GV PAN: crowd
GV: Scuffles in crowd and police moving in. (4 shots)
MV: Helmut Schmidt steps onto podium and addresses crowd. (2 shots)
GV PAN: crowd listens.
CU: Schmidt speaking
GV: crowd listening (2 shots)
MV ZOOM TO CU: Schmidt addressing crowd.
CU and GV: crowd listening and applaud. (3 shots)
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Background: In West Germany scuffles broke out at an election rally in Frankfurt on Friday night (10 September) as Chancellor Helmut Schmidt was about to address the crowd.
SYNOPSIS: The incidents occurred as the Chancellor, who is deputy chairman of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SPD) and his colleague, ex-Chancellor Willy Brandt, the party's chairman, were opening the SPD election campaign in Germany's Hesse region. A crowd of more than 15,000 attended the rally outside Frankfurt's famous city hall and there were clearly some rival supporters among them.
Police moved in immediately the trouble started and the disturbance was soon under control. With polling day on October 3 now only three weeks away, it is still anybody's guess as to which way the general election will go. Most recent opinion polls have shown the Chancellor's coalition of Social Democrats and Liberal Free Democrats (FDP) running neck and neck with the opposition Christian Democrats (CDU). The leaders of the opposing parties are now well into the exhausting schedule of campaign meetings which they hope will stir up interest in a so far strangely lifeless election. According to the Bonn correspondent of Britain's Financial Times newspaper, the lack of interest amongst the German people is because of the lack of any real political issues.
The coalition government headed by 57-year-old Chancellor Schmidt has now held office since 1969, and while Herr Schmidt's personal popularity is high, that of his party has been declining. It has an unimpressive record in regional elections over the last two years, and has lost control of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament. But the main danger facing the ruling coalition is the feeling that afflicts voters periodically that it is time for a change.