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Analysts say high pre-election predictions may prove counterproductive

The presidential candidates and their teams should pay a great deal of attention to public opinion surveys on voter support, political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov told the TASR newswire. “There are certain messages that stem from these surveys that go straight to the candidates,” said the head of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO). According to another political analyst, Erik Laštic, the candidates could gather some extra information about their voters from these polls and find out how much they need to urge them to vote in the elections.

The presidential candidates and their teams should pay a great deal of attention to public opinion surveys on voter support, political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov told the TASR newswire. “There are certain messages that stem from these surveys that go straight to the candidates,” said the head of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO).

According to another political analyst, Erik Laštic, the candidates could gather some extra information about their voters from these polls and find out how much they need to urge them to vote in the elections.

Laštic stressed that in some general elections many voters “abandoned” parties that, according to pre-election surveys, stood only a minimal chance of reaching the threshold needed to enter Parliament and in the end preferred to vote in favour of parties whose voter support was bound to secure seats in parliament.

Analysts also agreed that high voter support in surveys could undermine motivation of some voters in the first round. “It may have the opposite effect, and some of the voters will be discouraged from taking part, at least as regards the first round of the elections,” said Mesežnikov.

According to the latest poll, which was conducted by the Public Opinion Research Institute (UVVM) in early March, incumbent president Ivan Gašparovič would have received 52.6 percent of the votes. Joint opposition candidate Iveta Radičová came in second in the poll with 30.4 percent support, while non-parliamentary KDS party nominee Frantisek Mikloško would have received 7.1 percent.

Non-parliamentary Free Forum (SF) party candidate Zuzana Martináková came in fourth with 4.4 percent, followed by LS-HZDS supported scientist Milan Melník with 2.3 percent, Dagmara Bollová, a former Communist Party member at 1.9 percent and Communist Party nominee Milan Sidor at 1.3 percent. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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