Space for a new party on Slovak political scene

Focus poll shows almost one fifth of voters are looking for a new group to vote for.

Casting a voteCasting a vote (Source: SITA)

Up to one fifth of Slovaks would welcome a new party on the local political scene. If all those who favored this option in the poll would also effectively vote for the party in the elections, it would receive 40 percent of the vote, at a turnout of 50 percent.

These are the findings of a recent poll carried out by the Focus polling agency for the Sme daily in December.

Most of the voters calling for a new party come from the Bratislava Region, are young or middle aged, have higher education and live in an urban environment. They are mostly rightist and liberally oriented, the potential voters of Siet, SaS, and Most-Híd before the March 2016 elections, Sme reported from the poll.

But if they really did vote for those parties, it was rather their last resort than an ideal choice, said political scientist Aneta Világi in an interview with Sme.

“Their search for the successor of SDKÚ continues for them,” she told the daily.

Several new political subjects have emerged in 2016, including conservative Tosca led by Trenčín Mayor Richard Rybníček. Also, businessman Ivan Štefunko founded the civic association Progressive Slovakia that is to be transformed into a political party that would reflect the ideals of the late economist Martin Filko. The group around Progressive Slovakia identifies itself as leftist, but Világi says it would be better for the party to get rid of that label. It should rather stress the liberal and progressive trend, she told the daily.

Also the name of President Andrej Kiska is mentioned in connection with the association, but he has not confirmed such ambitions. Yet the poll suggests respondents would rather see Kiska stay in the presidential post, as more than three quarters of them said they did not think he should found a new party. Only 13 percent said they would like to see Kiska as the leader of a new party.

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