Poll: Communists take third place as TOP 09 drops

The two left-wing parties in Parliament now hold first and third place in voter preference; Public Affairs shows monthly biggest gain

Support for the Communists, now led by Vojtěch Filip, is rising but many people would like to see the party banned | na serveru Lidovky.cz | aktuální zprávy Support for the Communists, now led by Vojtěch Filip, is rising but many people would like to see the party banned | foto: ČTKČeská pozice
Support for the Communists, now led by Vojtěch Filip, is rising but many people would like to see the party banned

Support for the center-right ruling coalition of the Civic Democrats (ODS), TOP 09 and Public Affairs (VV) parties stayed fairly steady in March. A shift of preference from TOP 09 to VV, however, allowed the largely unreformed Communist Party (KSČM) to jump into third place, according to the latest poll by the Public Opinion Research Center (CVVM).

If elections for the lower house of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, were held now, the left-wing Social Democrats (ČSSD) would win support from 23.5 percent of the Czech public, up a notch from 23 percent in the previous CVVM survey. Support from the ODS remained at 14 percent, and the party stayed in second place. The KSČM held steady at 9 percent, but TOP 09’s support fell from to 8.5 percent from 10.5 percent. This shift rearranges the rankings.

It wasn’t all bad news for the coalition government. Support for VV increased, pushing it up to 7.5 percent from its previous 5.5 percent. When all registered voters are counted, support for the coalition totals 30 percent, the same as in the CVVM’s February survey.

A possible left-wing coalition of the ČSSD and the KSČM would get support of 32.5 percent of all respondents, up just one-half of 1 percent from last month. In terms of unadjusted data, no other parties come close to the 5 percent threshold for entering Parliament.

Party preference (all respondents, CVVM)

The second largest bloc of respondents remains people who declare they have no intention of voting, at 22 percent, down from 22.5 percent in the previous month. Some 63 percent said they would definitely vote. “The collected data thus suggests that declared turnout is currently about the same as the participation in the last parliamentary elections in May 2010 (62.6 percent),” CVVM analyst Daniel Kunštát said in a press release.

When unlikley voters are eliminated and the results are adjusted based on the outcomes of previous elections, the ODS gets 22 percent, TOP 09 takes 13.5 percent and VV 9.5 percent — totaling 45 percent for the current ruling coalition, down from 47 percent in the previous survey. The ČSSD would see 34 percent and the KSČM 12.5 percent, giving the left-wing bloc 46.5 percent, up from last month’s 44 percent.

Voter preference over time (adjusted data)

In its calculations, CVVM did not eliminate parties that wouldn’t make it into Parliament. The Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) are at 4.5 percent, just shy of the cutoff, and the Greens (SZ) are more distant, at 2 percent. If the KDU-ČSL were to pass the 5 percent threshold, they would be in a position to now give either the left or right a majority.

The poll took place March 7 through 14 with 1,306 respondents aboe the age of 15 who answered a satadardized questionaire.

Second and third opinion

A poll released March 17 by the Center for Empirical Studies (STEM) gave a more definitive outlook. Its raw data showed the ČSSD and the KSČM at 27.6 percent and 9.8 percent, respectively, totaling 37.4 percent. The ODS, TOP 09 and VV came in at 15.8 percent, 11.1 percent and 6.3 percent, adding up to 33.2 percent.

When unlikely voters and parties that fail to make the 5 percent cutoff are eliminated, the ČSSD gets 83 seats and the KSČM gets 28, adding up to 111 seats in the 200 seat lower house. The ruling coalition gets 49 seats for the ODS, 29 for TOP 09 and 11 for VV, adding up to 89 seats, far short of a majority. The STEM poll took place March 8–13 with 1,248 respondents above the age 18. Statistical error was between 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent.

Distribution of seats in the Chamber of Deputies

A third poll, released at the beginning of March by the Center for Analysis and Empirical Studies (SANEP) said the ruling coalition would get 96 seats and the left-wing ČSSD and KSČM would get 104 seats. The ruling coalition currently has 118 seats.