That’s what the headlines of Slovakia’s papers should say. But again they don’t. Still, what we get now is better than before since the nature of differences in polling methods in Slovakia has begun to seep into the Slovak press. Now at least the major sources specifically mention the poll by name in headlines before announcing the exciting “news” that certain new parties will not get into parliament. Pravda announces “Median: SaS and Most do not pass into parliament” while SME says almost the same thing: “Median Poll does not let SaS or Most-Hid into parliament” and TA3 writes “Median SK: SaS and Most would not get into parliament” and both SME and Pravda mentioned somewhere in the article that this differed from the results of other polls.
This is better than nothing, but not good enough. The Dashboard contains the results including February Median poll, and what that shows is the following:
- Median remains far from the other major pollsters on 3 important parties: SaS, Most-Hid and SNS. This is probably because of the poll’s method of not listing party choices for respondents and requiring them to name a party without prompting. It may be that Median is right in doing this and that the others are wrong, but Median’s past performance in predicting elections (worse than the other major pollsters: http://www.pozorblog.com/?p=684) suggests not. So its predictions of parliamentary failure for Most-Hid and SaS, must be taken with a large grain of salt.
- SaS: Despite its raw numbers, Median confirms the upward trend of SaS. Median has always polled low for SaS but even with this the party now is near the threshold even for that pollster and shape of the lines (if not their locations) are roughly the same. All major pollsters show the party with a big upward jump in January or February:
- SNS and HZDS. Likewise despite differences in raw numbers, Median shows a significant downward shift for both SNS, conforming to the trends in other surveys. HZDS is now at the lowest level it has ever been in available Median polls (2005) and SNS is at its lowest level since 2007. If Median had not showed these declines, it would be worth looking twice at the others, but the unanimity here cannot be good news, even if its raw numbers might hearten Meciar and Slota by suggesting that they are actually several steps short of the abyss.
Otherwise Median numbers are not wildly different from those of the other pollsters: in Median, as in FOCUS but not in the other two, Smer showed some recovery in February, and MKP-SMK showed signs of stabilizing above the threshold. SDKU and KDH moved little.
Congratulations to the major papers for noticing that polling firms are different, but they still have work to do if they don’t want to miss the big story.