Their voters belonged among the most loyal, polls conducted before the election suggested. In the first half of January, the Focus agency polls still placed them as the strongest democratic opposition party, with more than 10 percent of the vote.
Despite the gradual drop from 17 percent in June 2019, hardly any observers doubted the Progressive Slovakia/Spolu coalition would enter the parliament. On Saturday night, they were short of 926 votes. The results of PS/Spolu is thus one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 election. As a coalition of two parties, they needed to gain at least 7 percent of the vote. They received 6.96.
The party that branded itself the new force capable of replacing Smer after the victory of its presidential candidate Zuzana Čaputová, and its success in the European Parliament election in May, lost the votes of those who in the end decided to change colours for the winner or to save the parties polling around the threshold.
Leaders Michal Truban and Miroslav Beblavý were unable to keep their voters.
"Voters opted for Matovič, because in their view he was finally the one capable of defeating Fico," political analyst Grigorij Mesežnikov said. People from the polling agencies call it the snowball effect.
The coalition also failed because its two leaders are not very distinctive, said political analyst Erik Láštic.
"They worked hard on the election, but they were very rational," he said. "They had a big agenda, but the leaders failed to bring emotion."
Rescuers and winners