Overall Monthly Report
FOCUS has just released its March and April numbers and as usual, not much has changed. Indeed the sheer absence of change makes me note (and regret) that I mentioned about an absence of change even in months with much bigger jumps. Though the various polls show some change (as this weekend’s post on poll comparisons should show), these average out to almost nothing.
As the bands above and below show, the “4 band” (Smer, SNS/SDKU, HZDS/SMK/KDH, all other parties) model continues. Not since November of 2006–over a year and half–has a party crossed the line from one of these groups to another. With regard to specific parties, (on which more later), it is worth noting only that HZDS has recovered from its dramatic drop earlier in the year and that despite major intra-party struggles and defections, none of the current opposition parties has seen its preferences alter in a meaningful way, suggesting, perhaps, that these parties have are relying only on their core support base, those who will not go anywhere else (except a new and compelling but otherwise programmatically identical party) no matter what happens.
If the current opposition parties have indeed fallen to their core, they can take little solace in the fact that that core gives them only 1/3 of Slovakia’s overall electorate, as the graphs below suggest.
This long-term graph of poll results for coalition and non-coalition parties shows @@@
The party “bloc” story is similar and actually reinforces the fact that among non-Hungarian voters, the support of the current opposition is no larger than support for the current coalition’s more nationally-oriented parties. Even if much of Smer’s currently unprecedent support consists of a large number of relatively passive voters who may change their minds before the next election, it is difficult to imagine any coalition that did not include the “left” or any coalition involving the “right” that did not involve either the “left” or parties from more than two blocs. That is not impossible to imagine–indeed it is a mainstay of Slovakia’s politics: Slovak National+Left (1992-1994, 1994-1998, 2006-) or Right+Hungarian National+Left (1994, 1998-2002)–but it underlines the exceptional nature of the 2002-2006 government (Right+Hungarian National).
Although the results meant a bit of reshuffling within opposition and coalition, the overall proportion of seats has remained highly stable in the last year (with the never-ending caveat that elections are different than polls).
As always, the actual polling numbers are available online at Google Docs:
Below I attempt (for the first time) to insert these in tabular format (using “iframe” which may not work on all browsers).