Delo daily published a public opinion poll yesterday showing opposition Social Democrats (led by Borut Pahor) in the lead with 22,2%, whereas the ruling Slovene Democratic Party (led by PM Janša) are trailing at 17,5 %. Gregor Golobič‘s Zares take third place with 10,1 %, while LDS proper slumped to 4,0 %.
This is the second month in a row Delo‘s pollsters recorded a slump in SD’s rating which could start spelling trouble for Borut Pahor as he is widely viewed as the only real challenger to Janez Janša’s ambitions to continue as the top dog in this country. This becomes all the more apparent if we take into account the fact that Janša’s SDS did slump but nowhere near as much as SD. However, at a first glance it seems that most of SD’s “missing” support went into the “don’t know” column, perhaps transferring slightly to Zares as well. Namely, the latter recorded a sharp rise from previous polls, which cannot be acounted for just with a sharp drop in LDS’s support (Zares being primarily formed by renegade LDS members).
As the bar for entering the parliament is set at 4%, the results of the poll suggest that predominantly Catholic Nova Slovenia (N.Si), the Pensioner’s Party (DeSUS) and Lipa (newly formed renegades from Jeličič’s Natoinal party) will not make it past the post. Personally I think this is higly unlikely (with the possible exception of Lipa), as all of the smaller parties draw on a highly dispersed pool of voters which is a bit more difficult to detect with a sample poll.
While 4,0 percent is a bit of a disappointment for LDS, this can and probably will change for the better, most likely at the expense of Zares which (save a terrible faux pas) seems set on comfortably making it to the parliament. Furthermore Jelinčič’s nationalists seem to have suffered from a split with Saško Peče’s Lipa, although the latter apparently did not pick up SNS‘s missing votes. And – last but not least – Slovene People’s Party (SLS) can build on the 4,9 percent it got this time around, although the recent switch at the helm of the party apparently failed to generate support on its own.
Pengovsky’s projection: SD will continue the downward trend for another month or two, while smaller coalition parties (SLS and DeSUS) take over the stage as they will be vigorously opposing possible sale of Slovene Telecom and Triglav Insurance, thus threatning stability of Janša’s coalition – mostly to get additional press coverage and stir up some more shit. LDS will have to come up with an ingenious ploy to drum up additional support, but the same goes for Zares which cannot break into the Mipos Dance of Joy yet as its support is much to wobbly at this time. N.Si will seem to go below radar, but due to its specific voter base this will mostly mean securing some additional grass-roots support. The endgame continues.