Lottie Millington in London -
Only around one in 10 (11.4%) Czech teenagers consider themselves to be politically left wing, a poll has shown. The survey, published by the Centre for Public Opinion and Sociological Research, revealed a vast generational gap, with over-60s in the former Soviet republic being five times more likely to identify themselves as left wing than their younger compatriots.
Despite the centre-left Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) being the largest party in the current coalition, the Czech Republic seems to be undergoing a political sea change as a more conservative crop of voters enters the electorate, while those who lived under Soviet rule become a scarcer presence.
The survey revealed that the population’s self-perceived positioning shifted further left as both age and level of education rose. A decline in living standards also saw an increase in leftist views.
Just 59.5% of the population voted in the 2013 elections, which saw the CSSD take 56 seats and form a three-party ruling coalition. TOP 09, the highest-scoring rightwing party, secured 41 seats and was left out of negotiations with CSSD leader Bohuslav Sobotka in the formation of the coalition.
The fluctuation in left- and right-wing prevalence from 2002 to the present day showed a relatively steady pattern for both the left and centre, and an even more consistent trend in the right, which peaked in 2008, when conservative Václav Klaus won the presidential election. Leftwing views peaked in popularity in 2002, coinciding with the Czech Communist Party’s best electoral performance since the Velvet Revolution.
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