Reversal of fortune: Robert Fico is on course to lead the most popular party again

Smer is only as strong as its opponents are weak, notes political analyst.

Robert Fico, protest in Bratislava, January 26Robert Fico, protest in Bratislava, January 26 (Source: TASR)

A recent, mid-winter protest organised by the opposition party Smer attracted about a thousand supporters to a square in front of the presidential palace in central Bratislava. It was a potent demonstration of the party’s revived fortunes.

SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement
SkryťRemove ad
Article continues after video advertisement

“Slovakia must be ready for an uprising by the people against the government,” declared Smer leader and three-time former prime minister Robert Fico, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

While representatives of other opposition parties also showed up at the protest, among them Hlas and the extra-parliamentary Slovak National Party (SNS), a recent public opinion poll suggests that Smer is the one rising fastest in popularity.

Smer is now only 1.5 percentage points behind the strongest party, Hlas, which was formed by Peter Pellegrini in summer 2020 after he and others broke away from Smer. The split began a decline in support for Smer, which eventually bottomed out in opinion polls at around 9 percent between November 2020 and February 2021.

Since then, however, the party has steadily regained popularity and observers point out that Smer is now close to reclaiming the number one spot in the polls. Robert Fico, who frequently dabbles in rhetoric that is hard to distinguish from the vocabulary of extremists, has been successful at setting the political agenda. He is regarded by opponents and supporters alike as a significant figure, and one who is omnipresent across the political scene.

SkryťRemove ad

Smer challenges Hlas

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

Top stories

The European Commission has recognised the importance of a group of medieval murals from Slovakia.

Slovak medieval murals obtain European Heritage Label

It is the first time at this level the European Commission has recognised sites in Slovakia symbolising common European history.

13. may

Solutions to tackle brain drain planned as part of Slovakia’s Recovery Plan

Easier integration of foreigners and Slovaks returning from abroad are among the measures laid out by the plan, which should pour hundreds of millions of euros into the Slovak economy.

17. may
Peter Sabaka.

Scientist are fed up with people spreading lies

One scientist already won a lawsuit.

19. may
SkryťClose ad