January 2009 Poll Averages
Overall Monthly Report
Numbers for January are in and while there is not too much to report, there are a few striking findings. Smer had an excellent month, tying its previous high score in UVVM and achieving a new high in FOCUS (by more than 2 percentage points over its previous high in October 2008). As the graphs below show, this means that for the first time the poll /average/ gives it a straightforward parliamentary majority of 76 seats. The big open question is whether a sinking economy will pull these numbers down, but every time it seems that the party has now hit its peak, it sags a bit and goes on to a new peak, so this is truly an open question.
This short-term graph of poll results for averages of major parties other than Smer shows a sharp–two percentage point–drop in KDH not quite compensated for by a rise in SDKU, while within the coalition, SNS’s loss was HZDS’s gain (perhaps literally). And SMK continues its slow slide to places well below its demographic base. In general the nationali parties have remained stable while the major opposition parties have all dropped by small margins over the past few months. Among the smaller parties, KSS stayed stable and the 4% result for Slobodne Forum in last month’s FOCUS poll is even more clearly apparent as an outlier. HZD (not shown here) has been on a very slight upward trend, perhaps related to the Gasparovic presidential campaign, but shows nothing like the bounce that it saw in Gasparovic’s previous campaign.
Not pictured here–because they are mere single data points, is new polling data for other small parties, many themselves new. FOCUS has apparently begun to follow the lead of MVK and include these parties on their response sheet, making it easier for voters to choose them. The psychological effect of this choice is immediately apparent, increasing by a factor of 10 the number of people specifying a party other than those above (albeit from 0.1% to 1.0%). The Party of Greens (SZ) netted 0.4% from this choice while the KDH-splinter Conservative Democratic Party (KDS) emerged at 0.3% and the liberal LIGA emerged at 0.3% as well. The 0.3% for KDS may have some bearing on the drop in KDH, but the 0.3% represents only one seventh of the KDH decline.
It is notable that FOCUS numbers for these small parties are much lower than those of MVK which regularly reports SZ figures above 2% and in September reported KDS at 0.8% (but has not reported KDS numbers since). Interestingly MVK in December put the numbers of yet another new party, the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SAS) at 2.0%. FOCUS did not include this party in its list.
Now back to results for bigger parties. Even with weakness in SNS, the Smer increase (and small HZDS increase as well) still pulls the coalition to a new high of 66%: two out of three voters in Slovakia.
This long-term graph of poll results for (loosely defined) party “blocs” parties shows the coalition’s increase coming from Smer while SNS and HZDS continue to split their 20%, each month differing only in who gets how much of it. The drop in KDH hurts the opposition significantly.
This month’s distribution of parliamentary seats shows the first “poll average” Smer majority. It’s coalition partners bring an additional 29 seats. The opposition by this standard would muster 45, which is not that much more than the current coalition without the Smer majority.
As always, the actual polling numbers are available online at Google Docs:
And the most recent three months are below in tabular format (using “iframe” which may not work on all browsers).