Flat Is The New Up

A day later than planned originally (the arrest of Radovan Karadžić is rather more important, no?), we can have a look at a new poll by Ninamedia, ran by POP TV on Sunday last. No big surpises, opposition Social democrats still hold a small lead that, with PM Janša’s SDS coming in close second, while Zares again takes the third spot, with Liberal Democrats and the nationalists around 5,5 percent.

Results of all polls combined in a single chart

Since there are no dramatic developments in the polls, we can perhaps play with the numbers a bit. For starters, we cam have a a look at Ninamedia’s polls which were taken in the course of the last five months. It is immediately obvious that polls on 26 May and 10 July recorded a rather wide lead by Social democrats (SD) over Janša’s SDS. Mind you, it was not that SD became hugely popular at those particular moments. Spikes in the “don’t know” column tell us that it was rather Janša’s electorate that was undecided on him at that particular time. This again leads us to coclude that PM Janša is fighting very hard to stay above water and keep Borut Pahor witihn range. For Janez Janša, flat is the new up

Seven Ninamedia polls taken in the last five months

Moving on. Since 4 February we’ve seen twenty-three polls, which pengovsky faithfuly reproduced for your viewing pleasure. What happens if we calculate the average of all results to date? Let’s take a look: Pahor’s Social democrats still remain in the vicinity of 20 %, while SDS lingers around 18 %. But this includes the undecided vote as well. Things get a lot more interesting if we recalculate the average using only pledged votes. With this we also get a better picture of which party will make it across the 4% treshold:

Average poll results, discarding the undecided vote

Both “big” parties are still close, but differences are greater than before. If we sum up the results of possible coalitions, things get even more interesting: a coalition of SD, Zares and LDS would beat a very broad coalition of SDS, SLS, NSi, SNS and DeSUS by 0.9 percent (32.0% vs. 31.9%). If, however, a more likely coalition of SD, Zares, LDS and DeSUS were created, it would enjoy a healthy 7% lead over the rest of the parties (35.2% vs. 27.9%).

Either way, PM Janez Janša has his work cut out for him. But in his fight to stay afloat he is continously increasing the stakes. Tommorow we’ll see that he picked on former president Milan Kučan again.

Pengovsky’s projection: Things are far from over, but PM Janša will be looking for “september surprise” to make the necesary breakthrough in polls. This might mean marrying Doc Urška, arresting Zoran Janković and/or Boško Šrot or giving some additional concession to one demograhic group or the other. Or any possible combination of the aforementioned. It is becoming increasling apparent that the winner of the elections will go to any lenghts to secure a majority in the parliament and in this respect PM Janša is positioned far worse than the left bloc. Members of the latter (Zares, SD and LDS), however are afraid one of them will jump ship and join Janša in a broad coalition. That’s why rumours are spread from time to time that one the parties is mulling forming a coalition with Janša. Just as SD and Zares before it, LDS is the latest victim of these rumours. The goal, naturally, is to have LDS leadership say in the clearest possible terms that they will not band together with JJ.

Elections 2008 Badge: Reflects the latest poll results.

Data: If anyone feels like tinkering with the data, here is the complete MS Excel file.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

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