In the wake of the fall of the government, we’ve now gotten a few new polls from firms that are less frequent to offer them, particularly Polis (last week) and MVK (t0day). Despite the headlines which regard these as items of “news,” both of these are interesting in the ways that they show very little shift. Full results are on the dashboard, but a few thoughts without the fanciness of including party logos.
First, it is notable that in the last two elections Polis has produced results closer to the actual outcome than any other firm. MVK has done rather worse, with some quite significant problems. This does not undercut MVK a priori, but it does suggest caution regarding any trends that appear only in MVK data.
Now on to the party-by-party:
- Smer shows stable preferences in both of the new polls but the difference is quite significant: high 30’s in MVK and mid-40’s in Polis, a difference of about 20 percentage points. FOCUS and Median have tended to side with Polis in this, suggesting that the actual share of preferences may not be as low as MVK finds, though how this plays out in terms of turnout could be a different story.
- SNS is also stable for both, with a slight decline for both MVK and Polis. But since SNS was already below the threshold for both, its absence from parliament according to these predictions is relatively old news. FOCUS and Median, however, tend to put SNS above the threshold, allowing it a strong claim to the status of “most uncertain.”
- HZDS is also stable in both. Stable here, however, is extremely bad news for the party which appears to have flatlined around 3%. Jumpstarting the heart here looks unlikely.
- SDKU shows a big post-Euroval drop, probably not due here to the news about Radicova’s departure from the party (which hadn’t yet become public when the polls were taken) but due to its inability to master the difficulties of a difficult coalition (and perhaps, though I can’t say) because of the return to prominence of Miklos and Dzurinda… It is fascinating to me that one of the questions in SME’s betting pool is “will SaS get more votes than SDKU” and that at present a significant number of bettors say “yes.”
- Toward that end, SaS does show a big leap in both polls (as it did in last month’s FOCUS poll. The party may really have figured this one out in the short run, finding an issue to resurrect its long slow slide to obscurity (a la ZRS, SOP, ANO, VV). Whether it pays in the long run depends on who gets to form the next coalition, but even there it is hard to expect that a right wing coalition would rather go with Fico than SaS, however unreliable it may seem.
- KDH maintains its stable 9% with no clear patterns. This one seems simply to depend on the polling and who’s at home on a given day. I wonder, though, if the party will be able to maintain that stability if it goes into coalition with Smer, something party leaders are not now ruling out.
- With the Hungarian parties there is a drop for Most-Hid and a bit of a drop for MKP-SMK as well. The real question here, however, is the relative strength and ability to cross 5%. On this Most-Hid still seems to have the upper hand, but there will be a lot of strategic voters on election day who could tolerate either one and will be voting to get the other one in. The problem comes if too many do that and the leader then falls short (as may have happened with last-minute shifts from SKM to underdog Most-Hid in 2010) . For the moment the two parties have rejected coalition so they may be willing to risk defeat for the possible chance of a significant gain.
None of these results provide much new information. Except for the recovery by SaS (which may fade) not much has changed from previous months. That in itself may be news. And so (to a lesser degree) is the fact that this blog is going ot have to change to offier placements and lines in the graph for the new parties Ordinary People (OL) and Nation and Justice (NAS) which are going to need their own lines and pages. Both appear in the new MVK poll (MVK had included them even before their formal registry and while neither would make it into parliament, both appear to have a dampening effect on related parties: OL gets nearly 4%, while NAS gets 1%. More on that in another post.