A few thoughts continuing from yesterday:
First, in a post-election debate (the first I’ve ever seen and kudos to CTV for arranging it (it helps that polls close at 2 in the afternoon), the moderator asked various parties for their opinions about many things including coalition partners. Here’s a list of the relevant answers:
- Usvit: Nobody. Will support anybody who supports a referendum law but will not go into government
- ANO: No coalition but might consider ‘toleration’. (But not of KSCM-CSSD, and unlikely for ODS-TOP09. Would prefer to go law-by-law)
- TOP09: CSSD but they don’t want us. Will probably go into opposition.
- ODS: Would go with TOP09 and KDU-CSL but there are not enough votes. Party will go into opposition
- CSSD: Anybody except ODS and TOP09. Would not be in minority government depending on Communist support.
- KDU-CSL: Not with KSCM. CSSD would be ok, or CSSD-ANO or Center-Right coalition.
- KSCM: Happy to support or join government with CSSD.
This is like a hard SAT logic question and I need to draw it out, but if these statements are predictive (they may mean them now but leaders often change their minds on this kind of thing), then I think there is no actual answer for a majority government. The best would be a minority government of CSSD-KDUCSL tolerated by ANO, though I suppose there is the mathematical possibility of a center-right government supported by ANO and Usvit.
A few numbers worth presenting (graphs to follow). The first relates to various measures for determining the size of the Czech political party system. By Czech standards this is a huge political party system. And it is very evenly distributed (no single pole). In fact the gap between the largest and smallest parties in parliament is a remarkably low 13.5%.
The second set relates to volatility–change in this election compared to the previous one. Again, change this time is huge: 39%. As huge as last time. And it is evenly distributed between losses/gains among existing parties and entrants/exits of existing parties (about 19% each).
Finally a table on the use of the preference vote. The last election in the Czech Republic saw an enormous increase in the use of votes for individual legislators (40 of 200 deputies elected on that basis if memory serves, an increase from 6 in the previous period). This time it is not quite as high but it is still very big: 27 out of 200. It is the parties with larger and more robust organizations that saw the biggest changes: ODS (also suffering from member rebellion), KDU-CSL and KSCM (not suffering from member rebellion) and CSSD (whose voters don’t seem especially pleased with some of its elite). Below these were the new and organizationally weak parties: ANO (one of whose members was elevated beause he shared the name of the party founder), and TOP09, and Usvit (with exactly zero)
||Preference vote winners
Source: Czech Statistical Office
Almost all the votes are in and it’s a mess:
||Share of seats
There is little way out of this. With no parties above 25% of seats, there can be no coalitions with fewer than three parties. This means that some of the big options are off the table, particularly CSSD-KSCM. That was really the only chance for KSCM so despite their improvement by nearly 2%, they’re in just as bad a situation as before. The problem is that all of the /other/ government options seem equally impossible at the moment.
I’ve spent the last 2 hours listening to interviews with every party leader on CTV (and I mean every, since the station has made the very odd decision of bringing the leaders of all tiny parties into the studio and interviewing them, mainly, it seems, with the goal of taking them to task) for insisting that they should participate in the debate) and what we see from that is:
- Usvit’s leader claims they won’t enter into a government with anybody but will support any government that supports their goal of unrestricted refendums
- ANO’s leader claims they won’t enter into government with ODS or TOP09 or the Communists and says he can’t imagine supporting a Social Democratic government,
Which pretty much rules out any majority government.
Halfway there, decreasing room for change what do we see:
- Seven parties in parliament, 2 new ones
- No party with more than 25% (maybe 22%)
- New parties with over 25%.
- Parties founded since 2009 with 35%
- The possibility, increasing over the last few minutes, of a situation in which the left does not have a majority and the CSSD-KSCM coalition (in whatever form) is not a possibility.
- The sharp difference between the top 7 and the next set. Of the parties hovering within 2% of 5%, three are well above 5% (Usvit, ODS, KDU-CSL) and all of the rest are far below 5% (Greens, SPOZ, Hlava Vzhuru and the Pirates).
Here’s the graph:
With about 1/3 of the vote in, the Czech Election is shaping up to be rather shocking, notably in the degree to which new parties outperform original polls. I’ve been following and recording results every 5 minutes and what I get is the following graph. The key point is that these results are /extremely/ stable from minute to minute. Things do tend to change in the last 20% as big precincts from urban areas come in, but my experience with Slovakia is that they don’t change more than a fraction (I haven’t done this minute-by-minute in the Czech Republic before)
CSSD looks stuck around 22, KSCM is on a steady decline.
Of course votes aren’t seats, but CT has [translated this (how, I’m not sure) into seats and says that the results produce a parliament with 55 for CSSD and 46 for KSCM. But if KSCM’s current trend continues and if affects distribution of seats in the regions, as it might–and if TOP09 continues its rise, this could produce yet another 100 v. 100 parliament or even a slight majority for the non-CSSD-KSCM. It may also produce the potential for a CSSD-ANO 2 party coalition but it is not clear whether that would be politically possible. More soon. (By the way, trends have continued while I was writing htis. No reversals in TOP09 or KSCM)
Polls closed in the Czech Republic. CzechTV is reporting on results despite the fact that there are 2% of precincts in. Not worth commenting on. In between those reports, they’re reporting that TOP09 has more Facebook friends than ANO (or any other party). Now they’ve got Tomas Lebeda and Michal Klima so I’ll pay attention. More soon.