Apparently it wasn’t just pengovsky who wasn’t all that impressed by Borut Pahor’s perfomance Wednesday last. Dnevnik ran a poll on Saturday where Janša’s SDS for the first time in more than six months enjoys a small-but-distinctive lead over opposition Social Democrats. 1.9 percent might not seem a lot – and is still very much within the margin or error – but in terms of a dead heat between SDS and SD we’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, this is quite an important shift. Namely, Pahor’s SD got 17.4 percent, while Janša’s SDS got 19.3 percent.
This could very well be a turning point in this election campaign. On one hand Borut Pahor and his SD have more than enough time to rectify things, on the other hand, however, they don’t have enough time to wait for another poll and act then. One more result like this and the glow of victory surrounding Pahor at the moment will have diminished dangerously (dangeroulsy for his prime-ministerial ambitions, that is). The same thing happened in presidential elections a year ago, when Lojze Peterle was long thought of as having already cliched a victory, but as he didn’t win in the first round, he had to reposition himself, but by then he was no longer thought of as invincible and unbeatable (with a little help of Janez Janša becoming as unpopular as he was ever going to get). Today, with 26 days until elections this is the worst possible time for Pahor to have to make a come-back in polls. Because if he looses the aura of PM-apparent, he is facing an extremely uphill battle. Luckily for him, the three parties of the left bloc (SD, Zares and LDS) still enjoy a comfortable lead over the three right wing parties (SDS, NSi and SLS).
Pengovsky’s projection:: This could very well be it. If Pahor and SD don’t do anything about it (or go about it the wrong way) it can all go downhill from here. It is highly likely that Borut Pahor will adopt a more hard line rhetoric, but if he overdoes it, it will backfire, alienating moderate voters. Also, as he did a rather poor job at citing numbers, Pahor will probably do a crash-course in economy or (sligthy more likely but less effective) will stand firmly alongside Mitja Gaspari as the latter will try to tear the economic policies of this government to pieces. Pengovsky eagerly awaits next polls.
Election 2008 badge: Will be updated during the day.
Data: Is avilable in MS Excel file.