Left-wing majority on cards if early Czech elections held, suggests poll

Left-wing parties would gain overall majority if early elections held suggests poll

Left-wing parties would win an outright majority in the Czech lower house of parliament if elections were held now, according to a survey carried by the Factum Invenio agency.

The agency released its findings Thursday with early elections a possibility following the latest crisis in the center-right coalition government sparked by demands from the junior party Public Affairs (VV). Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats,  ODS) has set an April 10 deadline for a new deal to be thrashed out between coalition partners, including commitments to shrinking budget deficits in 2013 and 2014, or elections, probably in late June, will be called.

The poll showed the main left-of-center Social Democrats (ČSSD) winning 73 seats in the 200-seat lower house with the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) getting 38. The main governing party, ODS, would slip to 46 seats with TOP 09 picking up 32 seats. The Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) would also get back into the lower house with 11 seats after winning no seats at all in the 2010 elections.

Public Affairs, a party which swept into the parliament for the first time two years on an anti-corruption campaign ago after starting out in local Prague politics, would fail to get past the 5.0 threshold of support for getting any seats at all. The poll showed its support had slipped to 1.4 percent.

The party has been subject to a series of scandals and has been a source of constant disruption within the fragile government coalition. Nečas and TOP 09 deputy leader and Minister of Finance Miroslav Kalousek said Thursday that the only reason to continue in power with VV was to push ahead with the government’s flagship “budget responsibility” program which targets a break even budget by 2016.

 Nečas said Thursday that June elections would allow an incoming government time to prepare a budget for 2013. He warned that the Social Democrats would find themselves with very little room to maneuver and would come up with very similar plans to the current coalition if they won power.

Another poll, by the Median agency, released Wednesday showed 80 percent of those questioned in favor of early elections with only 16 percent against.