So the time has come for eligible voters around the country to work out who is the most representative of their interests in the elections tomorrow, with all the recent affairs swaying in favour of Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party, which has persistently enjoyed over 40% of the vote according to opinion polls.
Fico’s party enjoyed the same degree of support also in the last election, but missed out on forming a government marginally as the four right wing parties grouped to gain a slim majority in parliament (79 0f 150 seats). It proved to be too slim for the government to last, though, as it crumbled in October 2011 after less than 1.5 years.
Although some fear Smer-SD having a one-party government, including the party itself, the chances are the party will fall just short of a majority and so will have to seek a partner, possibly in the shape of nationalist SNS party once again, the 99% Civic Voice party, the Christian democrats of KDH or even the Hungarian coalition party SMK.
Jan Slota’s SNS party only got into parliament last time literally be a few hundred votes, and the latest poll of the MVK agency from last weekend puts the party under the 5% parliamentary threshold with just 4.5%, so maybe no ally there for Smer-SD. It is joined below the threshold by the 99% party (4% in the poll), which took a hit recently over the falsified signatures in its registration petition.
If the poll were accurate, this could mean Fico would have to rely on the support of the KDH party, which has been least affected by recent events and has seen its voter support rise to 12% in the poll. This would put the KDH party at the helm of the right-wing parties, meaning it could be faced with the choice of playing second fiddle to Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party, or first fiddle among another multi-party “mishmash government”, as Fico always referred to the outgoing coalition.
The other parties that according to the MVK poll would make it into parliament are Most-Hid, which with 7% even pipped the SDKU party of Mikulas Dzurinda, which was assigned just 6% along with the liberal SaS party of Richard Sulik. Igor Matovic’s new party Ordinary People and Independent Personalities looks set to make it past the 5% threshold, with the recent poll giving it around 5.5% of the vote.
An interesting development is the potential resurrection of the Hungarian coalition party SMK, which didn’t make it into parliament last time, but which has seen its support grow mostly to the detriment of the current coalition parties. The MVK poll gives the party 5.5%, and so it could see a return to the National Council.
Voter turnout is expected to be low, in the range of 44-50 percent, despite some last ditch efforts of parties and Gorilla protesters to get people out to vote, but many voters have become almost apathetic recently in light of all the corruption allegations. There can be no doubt that Smer-SD will be the outright winner of the elections, but it could find itself in a similar dilemma as it did in June 2010, when it didn’t have enough allies to form a government.