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New Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Martin Schulz addresses a news conference at their party headquarters in Berlin, Germany, January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

(reuters_tickers)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) would beat Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives if an election was held today, a poll said on Monday, showing the centre-left party was still building on positive momentum after electing Martin Schulz as leader.

The SPD, Merkel's junior coalition partner, has been trailing the conservatives for years in opinion polls and last won an election under Gerhard Schroeder in 2002.

The poll by INSA for Bild newspaper put the SPD on 31 percent, and the conservatives on 30 percent.

The populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) was projected third with 12 percent, followed by the hard-left Die Linke on 10 percent.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr and Michael Nienaber; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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