EC Vice-President Šefčovič leads the new presidential poll

Following her rising preferences in the poll, Zuzana Čaputová is not giving up for now.

Maroš ŠefčovičMaroš Šefčovič (Source: Marko Erd, Sme)

If the presidential elections were held in the first half of February, European Commission's Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, nominated by the ruling Smer party, and scientist Robert Mistrík, backed by the opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, would meet in the second round.

The former would be backed by 18.2 percent of the vote, while the former would receive the support of 15.8 percent, as stems from a poll carried out by the AKO polling agency between February 8 and 12 on 1,000 respondents.

It is the first poll to survey the chances of all 15 official candidates.

As for the other candidates, lawyer Zuzana Čaputová would come in third with 14.7 percent, followed by Supreme Court judge Štefan Harabin with 12.8 percent, Sme Rodina MP Milan Krajniak with 7.8 percent, Most-Híd head Béla Bugár with 7.4 percent and far-right extremist Marian Kotleba with 6.9 percent.

Will Čaputová retreat?

The AKO poll suggests that the support of Čaputová is gradually rising. Her preferences are 5 percent higher than in the January poll by Focus.

Mistrík and Čaputová decided earlier that one of them would withdraw from the race to prevent Šefčovič and Harabin from getting to the second round.

However, Mistrík is unlikely to withdraw despite his current 0.7 percent decline compared with the January Focus poll. Čaputová does not plan to withdraw from the fight either.

"For now, I feel the responsibility to remain in the campaign and continue, " she said after seeing the poll numbers, as quoted by the TASR newswire. "I regard the question of my withdrawal to be off the table."

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