Trends and Comparisons Monthly Report
Although I still do not have FOCUS data for January, it may be useful to post these individual-party graphs for the last 4 months of 2007. I will repost this as soon as I get the new data. In the charts below, Xs represent the firm UVVM, plusses represent FOCUS and diamonds represent MVK. The thick colored line represents an average of all three (or only UVVM and FOCUS of there is no monthly poll from MVK).
This graph of recent polling results for Smer from multiple sources shows the large difference among polls that has proven the norm in the last two years. UVVM’s estimates for Smer exceed FOCUS’s by an average of about 7 percentage points on a baseline of 35. Why this is so is a mystery, even to some of the pollsters involved, though I hope to find out more. MVK’s numbers (marked by diamonds with no connecting lines since they are not published at monthly intervals) stand conveniently in the middle, almost precisely at the average of the other two. Whether this is an accident or the reflection of a more broadly based sample is not an easy question to answer. MVK’s final poll results before the 2006 election were no more closer to the actual election numbers than UVVM’s (and by some calculations, actually slightly slightly farther away).
UVVM and MVK show an almost identical gain (about 5 points) for Smer between October and December. FOCUS shows no such overall rise, but does agree on rising numbers between Nov. and Dec.
This graph of recent polling results for SDKU, to the same scale, shows more or less the inverse pattern for Smer, at least in terms of the relative support for the party: FOCUS numbers are higher than UVVM by an average of about 3-4 percentage points on a baseline of 15. MVK does not stand in themiddle here but in Oct. stands with FOCUS and in December with UVVM.
This graph of recent results for SNS shows a slightly narrower range of disagreement among polls–only about 2-3 percentage points on a baseline of 13. The differences are consistent (FOCUS shows higher overall preferences for the party than UVVM) and in this case so are the trends: every poll shows a general drop of about 1-2 percentage points. UVVM shows this drop in September; FOCUS shows it in December.
This graph of recent results for MK shows occasional fairly wide disagreement among polling firms. FOCUS consistently shows higher numbers than UVVM, but sometimes the differences approaches zero while other times it approaches 4 points on a baseline of 9, quite a big gap. Here MVK stands in the middle in October and on the high side in December. If anything suggests a difference in the network of poll-takers it is this graph. Since the elasticity of voting for Hungarian parties is relatively low (at least lower than for other parties), differences here are more likely to suggest differences in interviewing patterns rather than changes in public opinion. UVVM’s numbers look a bit low here, but that is simply a guess based on census numbers an irrespective of other factors that may be at play here.
This graph of recent results for HZDS shows a less clear difference among polling firms than the results for other parties. Here a big and consistent difference in September and October (UVVM on the high side, FOCUS on the low side) reverses in Nov. and re-emerges much smaller in December. Here it is MVK that is consistently lower than the other two. All firms show the same trend–a drop of approximately 2 percentage points on a baseline of 9 percent. This consistency in the trending–rare among these graphs–bodes ill for HZDS. At this rate the party would fall below the threshold of electability by the middle of this year. Even more restrained trendlines show the party hovering consistently between 4 and 7 percent around the time of the next scheduled elections in June 2010.
This graph of recent results for KDH shows strikingly little difference among polling firms and little difference over time.
This graph of recent results for KSS shows a difference among firms of about 2 percentage points. This is small in percentage terms but large in relative terms and has major significance for the party’s future as they reflect the difference between “in striking range” (FOCUS) and “no chance” (UVVM). MVK here splits the difference. In June 2006 UVVM estimates of KSS were about 0.5 percentage points higher than those of MVK suggesting perhaps some primacy for MVK’s results here. These polls show a slight–but very slight–positive trend.
This graph of recent results for SF shows convergence around 1 percentage point, suggesting the party’s effective demise as an electoral party. How long it takes SF to respond to rumors of its own death are unclear but parties in Slovakia (as elsewhere) do tend to linger on the table. They are not alone in this. I do not include here charts for ANO and HZD because these have flatlined at around one as well.
One interesting side note in this regard, however. In contrast to existing parties like SF, ANO and HZD that receive almost no preferences, MVK surveys are consistently showing preferences for the Green Party–which to my understanding does not exist in a formal sense–at around 2%. I hope to find out more about this in coming meetings.