[Public opinion poll] A lot of energy and effort on the increasingly radicalized left side of the political space is currently being wasted

Foto: STA

Slovenska demokratska stranka (Slovenian Democratic Party) would be the winner of the parliamentary elections if they were held this Sunday. In a poll, conducted by the Parsifal agency for Nova24TV, about the popularity of the parliamentary parties, the SDS party got 22.4 percent of the votes. Lista Marjana Šarca (List of Marjan Šarec) would get second place, with 14.9 percent of the votes, and the Social Democrats would get 11.9 percent of the votes. The advantage of the largest coalition party would increase even more, as it would get 31.9 percent of the votes among those who already know who they would vote for. Among those who chose the highest score (5) when asked whether they would go vote and if they have already decided who they would vote for, the SDS party would get 36.7 percent of the votes.
We asked the analysts and experts on Slovenian politics, Tomaž Štih, and Borut Rončević, to comment on the results of the poll.

The other parliamentary parties would not exceed ten percent, if the elections were held this Sunday. The top three are followed by Levica (6.5%), DeSUS (4.1%), NSi (3.8%), and SNS (3.1%). 28.1 % of the voters remain undecided.

According to Štih, apparently, the fact that certain parties on the left supported the people on the streets, did not pay off. The parties that wanted to play politics on the streets got less support than they would have expected. It probably paid off for the government to work quietly and well, which is a good strategy for Slovenia in the future, political analyst Tomaž Štih told us.

“Changing the leader of the party did not give the results they expected. However, their expectations were quite naïve, as the party, now led by Tanja Fajon, did not change its message; its discourse became even more radical,” sociologist Borut Rončević commented on the public image of Tanja Fajon and her Social Democrats.

The SDS party would further increase the advantage among the already decided voters, who would participate in the elections
In the poll, 514 participants said they would vote for one of the political parties in Slovenia. Among those already decided, the advantage of the Slovenian Democratic Party over its political competition further increased. Among the already decided, SDS would get 31.2 % of the votes, LMŠ 20.7 %, and SD 16.5 %. They are followed by Levica (9.0 %), DeSUS (5.6 %), NSi (5.2 %), SNS (4.3 %), Pirati (2.7 %), SLS + NLS (2.5 %), SAB (1.2 %), SMC, and Dobra država (0.5 %).

Among those who would surely participate in the election, there is still a 10 % difference between the leading SDS and the second-ranked LMŠ
Among those who would definitely take part in the elections (score 5 out of 5), a maximum of 31.6 % of the voters would support SDS, followed by LMŠ (20,2 %), SD (15,1 %), Levica (6,5 %), NSi (3,6 %) and DeSUS (3,0 %). These are then followed by SLS+NLS (2,5 %), SNS (2,4 %), SAB (0,9 %), Pirati and SMC (0,2 %). 389 respondents would surely participate in the election, the Parsifal poll showed.

Slovenska demokratska stranka would win with 36.7 percent of support, among those who would surely go vote and already know who they would vote for
Among those who would surely go vote (score 5 out of 5) and already know who they would vote for, the largest share of 36.7 percent would support the SDS party, followed by the LMŠ party (23.5 %), SD (17.6 %), Levica (7.5 %), NSi (4.1 %), and DeSUS (3.5 %). These parties are then followed by SLS + NLS (2,7 %), SAB (1,0 %), Pirati (0,3 %) and SMC (0,2 %). In the survey, 335 respondents said they would surely go vote, and already know who they would vote for.

Tomaž Štih:
Apparently, supporting the people on the streets did not pay off. The parties that wanted to play politics on the streets got less support than they would have expected. It probably paid off for the government to work quietly and well, which is a good strategy for Slovenia in the future. I am surprised by the relatively high percentage of people who would vote for the LMŠ party, and perhaps, the surprisingly very low percentage of those who would vote for SMC, which can be attributed to the fact that this is a centre party. SMC is not accustomed to even having defence mechanisms against this media stampede and the deep state. It will probably take it the next two years, until the end of the mandate, to build these defence mechanisms.

Nova Slovenija has a difficult job because, on the one hand, it is leading the state-building departments, but on the other hand, these are the departments that are not as respected as they should be. Minister Tonin is doing a very good job, but it is simply difficult to be the Minister of Defence in Slovenia, and still have very high support. I have no doubt, however, that when work on de-bureaucratization, or the activities in which the NSi party excels, starts, support will rise again. NSi is a party that is staying in parliament.

When it comes to the SD party, the situation kind of makes sense. Tanja Fajon is a journalist who has no vision of running the country; she is better at these cruelties, verbal fights, in anti-fascism and anti-Janšaism. In reality, however, anti-fascism is not good enough of a programme for running an entire country, so with this, Tanja Fajon will not be able to bring more support to the party.

Unfortunately, Levica has its own regular base of voters, which always opts for the more extreme option. However, judging by the results, the number of the voters of this extreme option did not grow, despite the fact that the crisis was considerable and there was a fight against the coronavirus. It would be expected that their support would increase. So, obviously, Slovenians are really tired of the quarrels, including the anti-fascism. They just want the crisis to be overcome, as normal as possible. And in the future, they want a good anti-bureaucratic, or economic programme, to help us rise back up.

Borut Rončević
The ratios among the parties remain more or less unchanged, despite the fact that a lot is going on in the mainstream media; despite the Fridays’ cycling, despite the activities of the budget-funded non-governmental organizations, and despite the direct and behind-the-scenes efforts to overthrow the government. A lot of energy and effort on the increasingly radicalized left side of the political space is currently being wasted.

The high support for the SDS party is expected, as it is the result of many years of systematic work, as well as the fairly successful leading of the government, firstly, the managing of the first wave of the epidemic, and secondly, the decisive measures, adopted to help manage the economic and social consequences of the epidemic, so the measures, the benefits of which were felt by most of the population, and which the party very intensively and successfully communicated to the public.

Paradoxically, LMŠ can be the most satisfied with its results, as it surprisingly retains leadership among the opposition parties, despite the huge embarrassment of Marjan Šarec’s unfortunate attempt to force early elections by resigning, which actually resulted in the third government of Janez Janša, and despite the fact that their politics have so far been completely meaningless and mostly critical.

For now, the biggest losers by far are the Social Democrats. Changing the leader of the party did not give the results they expected. However, their expectations were quite naïve, as the party, now led by Tanja Fajon, did not change its message; its discourse became even more radical. With this approach, the party will likely strengthen the support within the party, but it will certainly fail to address a larger share of the voters. But I would also like to point out something else. “Shock therapy” with the unexpected change of the party leader is a very clear indication that the party was very seriously counting on the fall of the government, followed by early elections. The only question is, whether these are concrete and coordinated plans or just the SD’s reckoning without the host.

Among the smaller parties, I want to highlight SLS. Although it does not have very high support, it has been relatively stable for some time and is at a level that could very well result in this party returning to the National Assembly, with systematic work and an appropriate election campaign.

Methodological sample of the poll
The survey included 715 respondents, of which 49.9 percent were women. The average age of the participants is 51,6 years, and the standard deviation is 15.9 years. The majority of the respondents are from the oldest age group (42.9 percent), a slightly smaller number of participants belong to the middle age group (38.0 percent), and the smallest number of respondents is from the youngest age group (19.1 percent). The majority of the respondents have completed high school (34.8 percent), followed by those with completed high education or higher (28.9 percent), 24.0 percent of respondents have finished vocational school, and 12.3 percent have either completed or have not completed primary school. The majority of the respondents currently reside in a small village or hamlet (53.8 percent), followed by those who live in the city (31.3 percent) or a smaller town (14.9 percent).

Luka Perš