For the first time since the February parliamentary election, the winner, the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) of Igor Matovič, has lost the spot as the most popular party in Slovakia.
If the election had taken place at the beginning of October, the highest support would go to the new party of former PM Peter Pellegrini, Hlas.
It would receive as much as 18.8 percent of the vote, according to a poll carried out by the AKO polling agency on 1,000 respondents between October 1 and 9 for the Hospodárske Noviny daily.
“Peter Pellegrini is pulling support for Hlas,” said AKO head Václav Hřích, as quoted by Hospodárske Noviny.
The former PM has a comfortable position as he has quite a vast space to present his opinions and he does not bear responsibility for them, according to Hřích.
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The senior coalition party OĽaNO would be second, winning the support of 15.3 percent of respondents.
Hřích sees the coronavirus crisis behind the dropping support, especially how Matovič communicates about it.
“The PM took the communication responsibility of the first pandemic wave on himself,” Hřích told The Slovak Spectator, explaining that he was successful in strengthening his position as the first wave in Slovakia was mild in the number of infections.
However, the second wave is not that successful and that is why Matovič is losing, as people see him as a person to be blamed for the current conditions, according to Hřích.
The success of SaS
On the other hand, the junior coalition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) marked the most significant improvement among other parties in the poll. It came third with 13.4 percent of the vote. Its leader and Economy Minister Richard Sulík benefited from the support of voters who were dissatisfied with OĽaNO, Hřích said.
Two parties are sharing voters, meaning that the second option for OĽaNO voters is SaS, and vice versa.
The poll did not reflect the recent quarrel between Matovič and Sulík.