Prognoses failed. What makes people vote the far-right ĽSNS?

Many voters believe ĽSNS chair Marian Kotleba's rhetoric.

ĽSNS chair Marian Kotleba (centre) and his colleagues hold a press conference in Banská Bystrica on January 9, 2019ĽSNS chair Marian Kotleba (centre) and his colleagues hold a press conference in Banská Bystrica on January 9, 2019 (Source: TASR)

It was March 2016. The extremist People’s Party Our Slovakia (ĽSNS) won 8.04 percent of the votes in the parliamentary elections, which granted them 14 parliamentary seats. Several experts then reasoned that the extremists’ success in winning 209,779 votes was due to people voting for the anti-system party in protest.

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Related article A government with ĽSNS: How likely is it and what would it mean? Read more 

Voters also found their approach appealing and did not get tired of the unconventional party at that time. Experts, however, projected that ĽSNS would lose those benefits after four years in parliament and would no longer be able to easily back the notion they were different from politicians as the ĽSNS members themselves would become just like them.

Less than two months ahead of the February 2020 elections, however, ĽSNS has an historic maximum in the polls carried out by the Focus polling agency. A total of 13.6 percent of respondents said they would vote for the party in the mid-January poll.

Could ĽSNS, in fact, win the upcoming parliamentary elections? Why do new voters find ĽSNS chair Marian Kotleba a good choice? And what do ĽSNS voters think?

1) Why is ĽSNS polling higher figures?

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