With just a few mild surprises, the early elections yesterday essentially produced the expected result with Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party enjoying a landslide victory of 44.41% of the vote, meaning he will now form the first one-party government seen in Slovakia since the fall of communism in 1989.
The turnout was much higher than anticipated with 59.10% of eligible voters heading to the polls, which is more than in the 2010 elections, for instance. This possibly shows how people are becoming less apathetic about their future, or the young generation more active, in light of recent dirty affairs and corruption allegations.
Smer-SD will therefore enjoy an outright majority in parliament with 83 of the 150 seats, being joined by 5 right-wing parties on the opposition bench. The Christian democrats KDH top the list with 8.82% of the vote (16 seats), followed by Igor Matovic’s Ordinary People and Independent Personalities party (OLaNO), which enjoyed an impressive 8.55% (16 seats) of the vote. This was surely to the detriment of the SDKU (6.09%, 11 seats) and SaS (5.88%, 11 seats), which both got around half the votes they did in 2010. Their former coalition partner Most-Hid also outdid them both with 6.89% of the vote, and so it will enjoy 13 seats in parliament.
Parliament will now be absent of Jan Slota’s nationalist SNS party, as it slipped under the 5% threshold with just 4.55%. The hopes of the Hungarian coalition party SMK of returning to parliament were also shattered as it only managed to rally 4.28%. The next in line was the 99% Civic Voice party, which got a highly disappointing 1.58% of the vote, meaning less than even the 3% that would ensure it at least a financial return from its votes. The HZDS party of Vladimir Meciar has been sinking for years and didn’t even make 1% of the vote this time, joined by the communist party KSS, putting a final nail in their coffins. The results are not entirely official, but only very slight changes can now be expected.
As announced before the elections, even with its parliamentary majority Robert Fico’s Smer-SD party is still open to taking on a coalition partner, but all remaining five parties already rejected this option this morning on TV Markiza. Head of KDH Jan Figel says he will have discussions with Smer-SD, but that his party offered a different programme from Smer-SD, and so would not join a Fico coalition. Most-Hid vice-chairman Zsolt Simon expressed the same, saying Smer-SD should take full responsibility itself for the future direction of the country. The other three party heads, Igor Matovic (OLaNO), Mikulas Dzurinda (SDKU) and Richard Sulik (SaS), also said there is no way they would make a coalition with Fico.
Sulik congratulated Fico, saying he and his party now had the chance to prove that they had a better solution for Slovakia and its people. “It will not be easy, though, because the larder is bare” said Sulik. Both Sulik and Matovic said that stopping the stealing and corruption of the last 22 years was a priority for them in the opposition.
As pointed out by Zuzana Wienk from the Fair-Play Alliance, and others before the elections, the Smer-SD party would benefit from having a sidekick in government, as it did while in power from 2006-2010 with the SNS and HZDS parties, whose dubious affairs were more prominent than those of Smer-SD. This time the party will have nobody that it can point the finger at, and so will bear the burden squarely on its own shoulders of what happens in Slovakia over the next four years.
Distribution of seats in parliament:
Smer-SD = 83 seats (44.42%)
KDH =16 seats (8.82%)
OL = 16 seats (8.56%)
Most-Hid = 13 seats (6.9%)
SDKU = 11 seats (6.1%)
SaS = 11 seats (5.88%)
Full results from Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic (number of votes, percentage):