Politics, Polls and Parties, Part 2: Assessing the present and (badly) predicting the future

p1Yesterday I discussed my plan to undertake a relatively systematic analysis of Slovakia’s parties. I intend to get some additional insight by doing the analysis but preliminary look at the data suggest the following conclusions about where parties have been and where they are going. I hope that I will actually change some of these judgments in the process of analysis, so check back for the final conclusions–by late February.

In the meantime, here’s what I see in the current figures, enhanced by what I’ve learned elsewhere.

Category Party Current position Long term level Medium term Short term trend What will shape numbers in the next few months?



40 ± 3

Gains from 2006 election

Decline from early 2009 peak


Aggressivity of campaign and national focus may help in some circles and hurt in others. At risk of scandals but good at damage control. Economic stabilization should help a bit.



14 ± 3

Peaks and valleys but overall flat from 2009 election (party electoral performance usually better than polls)

Decline from peak in early 2009

Poll differences significant but seems like decline.

If Radicova is electoral leader and relatively untainted by scandal, may see some bounce at the expense of SaS (or may form electoral coalition).


10 ± 1

Flat until recently

Slight increase with coming of Figel

Slight decline from Figel peak but still higher than before

Most stable of all parties in Slovakia. Figel may have slight positive effect.

Near the line


7 ± 2

Peaked in 2008 and fell back below pre-2006 election levels

Erratic but with strong declining trend

Return to decline in recent polls

Election of Orban in Hungary will help but some voters may find Smer more palatable.


6 ± 1

Steady decline since 2006 (actually since 1992)

Recovered in mid-2009 from sharp fall

Return to slight decline

Opaque. Voters aging but loyal. Some inverse relationship with Smer and SNS. Will be close to the threshold–likely just above but hard

to tell.


5 ± 3

Slow decline beginning after 2006 election (maybe slightly before)

Decline prior to and (especially sharp after) emergence of Most-Hid

Return to stability just above threshold

Depends heavily on personality
(advantage Most-Hid) and organization (advantage MKP-SMK). One should
get in. Maybe both.


5 ± 3 (inverse to SMK)

New party

Not included in polls until 2009, beginning around 3% and growing rapidly

Stable just above threshold


6 ± 4 (inverse to SDKU)

New party

Emerged at 3-5% and grew moderately after

Mixed results make size of short term rise unclear: may be significant or slight

Depends on decisions within SDKU and (unclear) effectivness of novel organizational strategies (worked well in Europarliament elections but untested in higher turnout contests)

Hard to imagine


1 ± 1

Erratic but overall gradual decline from 2006 election

Significant decline from peaks in winter 2008 and spring 2009.

Slight further decline

Hurt by rise of SaS and would be hurt more by elevation of Radicova in SDKU; not helped by merger with voter-less Liga and OK


2 ± 1

Erratic but overall gradual decline from 2006 election

Erratic peaks and valleys

Slight decline

Seems flat. Has not gained dissatisfied Smer voters.


1 ± 1


Gradual decline from peaks in summer 2009

Slight decline

Seemed to have a chance and now seems not. Might benefit should Smer begin to crumble but not in near term.


1 ± 1


Decline from 2% levels in late 2008-early 2009

Flat or slight decline

Merging with Smer, soon to disappear.

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