Czech Social Democrats see falling support week ahead of the vote as ANO, Communists climb up.

By bne IntelliNews October 21, 2013

The main left-wing Czech party, Social Democrats (CSSD), has seen its lead narrow to a one-digit margin a week ahead of the Oct 25-26 general elections as the centrist movement ANO of billionaire Andrej Babis and the far-left Communists (KSCM) continue to win voters, CTK news agency reported citing the results of the latest poll by TNS Aisa.

The poll, conducted on Oct 7-16, showed that CSSD would receive a 23% backing if elections were held now, down from 28.5% in the previous poll by TNS Aisa announced on Oct 13. ANO would rank second improving its score to 16% from 12.5%, ahead of KSCM that also boosted its support to 14% from 12.5%.

TOP 09 and Civic Democrats (ODS), two of the partners in the former centre-right government that collapsed in June 2013, would follow with a backing of 10.5% and 7%, respectively. In the previous poll by TNS Aisa, TOP 09 won an 11% backing and ODS had 6.5%.

The other two parties that would have passed the 5% threshold to enter the parliament are the extra-parliamentary Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) that would be the choice of 6% of the Czechs, the same as in the early Oct poll, and the Dawn of Direct Democracy (Usvit) of Czech-Japanese entrepreneur and senator Tomio Okamura also with a 6% backing, up from 5%.

The Citizens' Rights Party (SPOZ) of Czech President Milos Zeman and the Greens remained below the 5% barrier.

CSSD is rejecting ANO as a possible partner so it is very likely the party will seek some kind of a partnership agreement with KSCM to form a cabinet. CSSD has earlier said it will not set up a coalition government with the Communists but will rely on them in parliament for a minority cabinet. It is yet to be seen, however, if the two parties would win the majority of the 200 seats in the parliament’s lower chamber or will need backing from one more party.

The acting leader of ODS, Martin Kuba, has recently said that his party may form a coalition with CSSD but so far CSSD chairman Bohuslav Sobotka has repeatedly dismissed an alliance with ODS and TOP 09.

With its pledge to fight corruption, ANO is quickly winning voter support taking advantage of the Czechs’ dissatisfaction with graft in the country’s established mainstream parties. ANO is mainly eroding voter support for centre-right ODS and TOP 09.

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