Smer reaches unshakeable position in the latest poll

Its rival, Hlas, seems to be sinking.

Five months in the run-up to the early elections, the Smer-Slovak Social Democracy (SSD) opposition party continues building its base of supporters. It has yet again come first in the latest poll, the Sme daily writes.

The party, led by former three-time prime minister Robert Fico, would have obtained 22.4 percent - the best result for the party since spring 2019 - if this year's early elections were held in late March. Fico's aggressive style of campaigning, mastering of social topics, and pro-Russian views appear to be appealing to many. This despite a number of people charged with or sentenced for corruption or other crimes committed under the previous Smer-led governments.

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The early elections will be held on September 30.

Peter Pellegrini's Hlas-SD came second in the poll with 14.2 percent. For Hlas, the polled number is the lowest in its young history. This is possibly the outcome of Pellegrini's declining visibility and unclear views on various topics, including vaccination against Covid-19 and the transfer of grounded Soviet-made jets to Ukraine.

Hlas was established by a group of Smer renegades in summer 2020.

Still, Smer and Hlas might form a powerful ruling coalition if they take Republika aboard. With this far-right party, they could have 85 seats in the 150-seat parliament, the poll shows.

The liberal party Progressive Slovakia ended in third place with 12.8 percent. Republika came fourth. The Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Speaker Boris Kollár's populist party Sme Rodina, Igor Matovič's populist movement OĽaNO, and the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party would also win parliamentary seats, according to the poll.

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Conversely, the acting PM Eduard Heger's new party Demokrati (Democrats) would not make it to parliament, nor would ex-PM Mikuláš Dzurinda's project Modrí-Európske Slovensko (Blue-European Slovakia).

The agency estimates a 63-percent turnout in the poll.

NMS Market Research surveyed 1,008 respondents from March 28 to April 2.

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