Opinion poll: Pahor could win in first round, and Milojka Kolar Celarc’s days as minister are numbered

Milojka Kolar Celarc (Foto: STA)

It seems Borut Pahor is set for an easy victory at the Slovenian presidential election in October. Currently he leads comfortably. In fact, his lead is so convincing that he might already win in the first round. However, it is true that the Right likely has not said the last word regarding their candidates. On the other hand we have minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc, who, given all the failures and the catastrophic situation in Slovenian health care, should really leave her ministerial position, and Slovenian taxpayers agree.

The survey was carried out in the period from 9 August to 11 August 2017 with a sample of 725 respondents (50.9% of which were women), and it was conducted by the company for market research and opinion pooling Parsifal SC. It was a telephone survey, and the sampling frame encompassed the telephone directory (80% the mobile network and 20% the fixed network). The survey measured the general trend regarding some current social and socio-political topics, specifically the expectations ahead of the upcoming Slovenian presidential election in October and the support for the interpellation by Slovenian Democratc Party (SDS) against minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc.

Overview of demographic data of opinion poll
The average age of the respondents is 50.1 years, and they come from all over Slovenia – most of them, about a fifth, come from the Central Slovenia region. The majority of the respondents, 39.8%, are part of the oldest age group (55 years or more), 37.5% are part of the middle age group (35–54 years), and 22.7% are part of the youngest age group (18–34 years). A majority of the respondents have a secondary education (31.2%), 25.1% have a complete or incomplete primary school education, 28% have completed a vocational school, and 15.7% have a higher education.

There will be a presidential election this year. Who would you vote for if you could choose from the following candidates:

(Vir: Parsifal SC)

Pahor is set for an easy victory
Most Slovenians would once again vote for Borut Pahor to become president of Slovenia (47.4%). He holds a large lead over second-placed Marjan Šarec (15.0%) and third-placed Ljudmila Novak (7.0%). A relatively high percentage of the respondents does not know who they would vote for (11.0%) or would not vote for any of the listed candidates (11.0%). Hence, 22% of the voters are still uncommitted while only 1.9% of the respondents would not go vote.

Current president of Slovenia Borut Pahor therefore has a significant lead of 32.4 percentage points over second-placed Marjan Šarc and 40.4 percentage points over third-placed Ljudmila Novak. The difference between the Kamnik mayor and the president of New Slovenia (NSi) is 8 percentage points.

Existing competition and lead of current president of Slovenia
Pahor has a much greater support than the rest of the known candidates in all age groups, and he is most favoured among young people (18–34 years) with 53.7%. Kamnik mayor Marjan Šarec, who is in second place, enjoys his greatest support in the oldest age group (55 years or more) with 16.8%. The same is true for the third-placed Ljudmila Novak, president of NSi, who is supported by 8.7% of respondents in this age group.

As far as education is concerned, the current president of Slovenia is most strongly supported by people with a vocational education (56%). The same is true for Ljudmila Novak (11%) while most of Marjan Šarec’s supporters have a secondary education (16.5%). Even in this comparison, Borut Pahor has a comfortable lead in all educational categories.

Prof Dr Matej Makarovič: “The results are not surprising. Firstly, because we know that Pahor is a strong candidate in his own right. And secondly, because the potential opponents have not yet said the last word. At the moment, Pahor only has one serious opponent with unquestionable backing from a political force, and that is Ljudmila Novak, but New Slovenia is still a relatively small party. Both the Left and the Right have certain issues with regards to Pahor. For a significant part of the Left, he is still too self-willed and is not always aligned with left-wing politics, but if he were confronted by an ideologically more appropriate candidate, such as Danilo Türk during the last election (a similar role could also be attributed to Brglez or someone similar), this would only help Pahor place himself closer to the political centre. And the Right faces the dilemma of choosing a figure that will be strong enough to have at least some hope of winning and at the same time not risking trump cards that are too strong. In this sense, the decision of NSi to go with Novak is rather bold and it will be interesting to see whether SDS will exercise more caution in this regard. But without taking a risk, the chances of success against Pahor are negligible, which is why these dilemmas are all the more interesting.”

Do you support the interpellation against minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc?

(Vir: Parsifal SC)

 According to Slovenian citizens, Milojka Kolar Celarc must leave
More than half of the respondents (50.8%) believe minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc has not lived up to expectations, which is why they support her interpellation, while 32.0% do not agree with the interpellation. 17.2% of the respondents are still undecided on the topic.

The interpellation which was filed against minister of health Milojka Kolar Celarc by the Slovenian Democratic Party enjoys most support in the oldest age group (55 years or more) with 55.2%. As far as education is concerned, it is those with a primary school or lower education that are most dissatisfied with the work of the minister (60%).


Prof Dr Matej Makarovič: “The results are interesting because of the relatively high support for the interpellation. Despite a dissatisfaction with the government, people are – as shown by previous studies – usually sceptical towards such political measures, probably because they doubt there will be any actual results. This is obviously different since the dissatisfaction with the situation in health care together with the dissatisfaction with the government is enough for the interpellation to have a majority support.”

Jure Ferjan