Two Days to Go: What the Polls Show Now

Final-week polls are in from three of the six firms with
regular political polls (including two of the "big three": UVVM, FOCUS and MVK). 
We find little difference in the relative positions of parties and actually
relatively little actual change (the differences between May and June reflect a
change in only 1 in 15 of all stated preferences).   More interesting
is that the trends of the last month correspond quite closely the predictions
that the turnout model makes for party support.  Specifically, those
parties that have traditionally lost support between polls and actual voting
(especially Smer and SF) have lost support in the last two weeks while those
that traditionally gain more support than polls would indicate (HZDS, KDH, KSS
and especially SDKU) have gained support in the last two weeks.  Only SMK
and SNS do not fit the expected plan, but they are not major exceptions
either, since their changes were among the smallest recorded here, though by no
means insignificant for SNS.

Party Poll Average 1-Month trend, by poll # of Polls showing
UVVM MVK Dicio Avg. Upward Trend Downward Trend
Smer 28.2 -3.5 -3.2 -7.8 -4.8 0 3
HZDS 12.0 2 1.8 1.4 1.7 3 0
SMK 10.0 -0.5 -0.6 0.9 -0.1 1 2
KDH 9.2 -1.3 1.6 0.3 0.2 2 1
SNS 9.3 0.5 0.1 1.2 0.6 3 0
SDKU 12.6 1.3 3.6 2.7 2.5 3 0
SF 6.4 -1.6 -0.8 -1.3 -1.2 0 3
KSS 5.1 1.5 -1.5 1.9 0.6 2 1

The open question for me is whether the change we are
seeing is part of the same process measured in the turnout model (which
would then need some renaming and recalculation) or whether it is something
different.  The turnout model relies on the difference between parties’
final poll and the election results, but one thing has changed: never before
have we received the results of polls taken so close to election day.  In
this small way, we are in a new world.  The turnout model assumes that the
increases and decreases are the result of differences in the degree to which
party voters are committed to going out to vote, but the evidence above might
indicate that an almost identical process has begun for some parties even
without the election-day test of party commitment.  I am therefore not at
all certain whether to apply the ratios used in the turnout model to such late
data since it might produce a double effect.  The turnout model, for
example, assumes a significant drop between Smer polls and Smer vote, but if the
turnout model is actually measuring some of the final week preference shift
rather than just the turnout effect, then applying it to the numbers from the
final week will produce an over-estimation, and I should stick with the results
from the pre-final polls which correspond better to the previous elections from
which the models were derived.  It seems a shame, however, to waste great
data from the final week (which is so far remarkably consistent from one poll to
the next), so I include below the (over)estimate derived from the turnout model,
one with SF and one without.



At one level, however, it is remarkable how little
difference this makes.  Whether with or without the turnout model, there is
little chance of a continuation of the current coalition (in its best case
scenario it gets 71 seats), and therefore little chance for a government that
does not include Smer.  It does make some significant differences in
coalition possibilities, however:  if the final results are as extreme as
the graphs above, Smer loses the ability to form a three party government except
with SDKU and another partner.  This would eliminate two of the
most-talked-about coalition possibilities: Smer-HZDS-SNS and Smer-KDH-SMK. 
Since I suspect a slightly more moderate result, I think that at least one of
these coalitions may yet be on the table, but that is a question for another

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