Overseas Vote (Will NSi Make It?)

Andrej Bajuk, former president of NSi (source)

Some 40.000 ballots were sent to Slovenian citizens living overseas, none of which have yet been counted. They will have been counted until Monday, 29 september and later that day the unofficial final tally of the Sunday elections will be known. Now, overseas vote is a well-known hunting ground for SDS and especially NSi, which at the moment has 3.26 percent of the vote, but – as you no doubt know by now – needed 4 percent to get in the parliament.

Since the percentage of the vote is calculated based on the number votes cast, this means that NSi need some 8000 votes more to make the treshold. This is not impossible. As I said in the beginning, some 40.000 empty ballots have been sent across the globe and it all depends on a) how many of those ballots are returned b) how many of those are valid and c) where will that vote go.

Previous experience dictates that most of the overseas vote goes to NSi (especially from both Americas and Australia). This time around, SDS apparently tried to channel a lot of overseas vote in general its way, but it remains to be seen how successful that particular enterprise was, especially since president of NSi Andrej Bajuk apparently wrote a personal letter to opinion makers in Slovenian diaspora, asking them for help in getting the votes.

Some believe that about a quarter of all overseas ballots will be returned, which just might generate enough votes for NSi to make the 4 percent treshold. Others, however, point out that a lot of the overseas vote comes from Europe (not exactly overseas vote then, is it, pengovsky?), and that votes from Europe more or less follow the dispersal at home, not making much difference in the end.

Either way, NSi will face its uncertain future with a new presiedent. In light of the less-than-satisfactory result Andrej Bajuk resigned as president of the party and will not even act as caretaker until a new president is elected. Thus Alojz Sok is now acting as caretaker president.

In my opinion NSi’s chances aren’t very good. But if they somehow make it, it means that those someone else will lose four seats. Since calculation of election results borders on alchemy it is impossible to say which party or parties would loose seats, but distribution of power in the parliament might change significantly.

Social Democrats Win Slovenian Elections

Borut Pahor – the new PM? (source)

According to exit polls both by POP TV and RTVSLO, opposition Social Democrats won today’s parliamentary elections in Slovenia. They have won around 32 percent of the poll, with Janez Janša’s SDS coming in second with 28 percent.

Zares took third spot with 11 percent, DeSUS (pensioner’s party) 7,5 while SNS (nationalists) and LDS both won five percent. SLS and NSi (right wing coalition parties) did not make it above the 4% treshold, and neither did Lipa and KDS. For the moment it appears that SD, Zares and LDS will form the new government with Borut Pahor as the new PM, but it remains to be seen whether they can do it by themselves or will they need DeSUS’s votes to do it.

More at around 2200 CET, after pengovsky files reports for The Firm™

EDIT @ 0040hrs: Two hours late, but it was a long night (still is, btw). According to the results of the National Electoral Commission, the final results will be much closer than anticipated by the exit polls. With most of the vote (99.97 %) counted, Borut Pahor’s SD got 30.50 percent. while Janez Janša’s SDS got 29.31 percent. Janez Janša has so far refused to concede, extending only a “conditional congratulations” to Borut Pahor (Janša: “insofar as the exit poll results are valid”), while the latter refused to declare an outright victory.

Nevertheless it is clear that the left bloc won, however, it remains to be seen how many seats in the parliament each party will take. There is a mathematical possibility that both SD and SDS will equal number of seats, creating an interesting situation as to who will get a mandate to form government. To be more precise, since equal number of seats would put Janša and Pahor in a fairly equal position, it would be interesting to see what kind of an offer would Janez Janša be prepared to make to secure a majortiy in the parliament and retain the prime-ministerial post

However, a split in the trio of SD-Zares-LDS seems improbable at this juncture, not in the least because a lof of effort was put into making the three leaders say that they will not form a coalition with Janša. But this severly limits their options and sending political stock of DeSUS sky-high. Namely – the way things stand, the trio has 43 seats in the parliament, three shy of a minimal majoriy, which means that they have to take onbooard either DeSUS or SLS, which only barely made it above the 4 percent threshold. Both parties were members of Janša’s coalition, but the way things stand now, DeSUS has a much better chance of becoming a part of the new coalition. Although I kind of doubt it that Karel Erjavec will keep the post of defence minister 😉

And while we’re on the subject: It seems Dimitrij Rupel finally met his political demise. He was not elected into the parliament and has little chance of becoming a foreign minister yet again. Janez Podobnik and Bojan Šrot of SLS met the same fate, with Podobnik facing a much more uncertain future, since Šrot is still serving as mayor of Celje and thus retains some political leverage. Also, Andrej Bajuk of NSi and Sašo Peče of Lipa didn’t make the cut and bought a ticket on the fast train to the political Big Adios. What will become of their parties remains to be seen, but things are looking rather bleak at the moment.

What Could Go Wrong On Election Day

This is the last in the series of pre-election posts. Tommorow is skin day and barring any breaking news I will post again on Sunday around 1900 CET when exit polls will be published.

And exit polls will probably be the weakest link in this year’s elections. There will probably be a couple of exit polls, but those done by both TV networks (RTVSLO and POPTV) will be the most important. Given the fact that RTVSLO‘s exit polls will be done by Interstat which has a record of publishing figures favouring the government (hey, it is a state television, right?), it is entirely possible that exit polls will give us two different results, with RTVSLO claiming a relative victory of SDS while POPTV claimed a victory of SD.

I’m not saying it will happen. I’m saying it could happen.

Indeed, the fact that the two largest parties, SDS and SD are so close to each other (that is, they were when the last polls were published), could ultimately lead to contesting the election results altogether – especially by SDS, should it end up in second place. Given the fact that all bets are off and that the campaign was brutal, neither of the two parties is likely to put on a chivalrous performance and admit defeat immediately. This can turn ugly

Again. I’m not saying it will happen. But the closer the result between SDS and SD, the better the chances of something like that happening.

To go on. It is quite possible that overseas ballots will decide the final outcome, clinching a victory for SDS. This will not go down lightly with the left bloc since the government seems to have used data on overseas voters to have SDS and NSi election material sent to them (as reported by From Buffalo With Love and Michael N) Whether or not this constitutes abuse is a matter of some debate, but the left bloc will go apeshit if the “diaspora” decides the elections.

And finally, it is entirely possible (although hopefully highly improbable) that some bright political soul flips because it didn’t get as much votes as projected and starts questioning the legitimacy of elections themselves. This would be the worst-case scenario, because it can very easily spiral out of control.

P.S.: Prime Minister Janez Janša turned 50 yesterday. Happy birthday! :mrgreen:

The Mayor Has Spoken

Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković has finally publicly declared his voting preference for Sunday’s elections – he supports the entire Trio From The Left Bloc that is LDS, SD and ZARES.

Video stills from video by Denis Sarkić, vest.si (source)

His decision is actually not surprising at all. Many were hoping that he would support only one party, giving it an extra boost. No such luck. He said that he sees Borut Pahor, Katarina Kresal and Gregor Golobič as equally capable of leading the country and that it is the mix of their political platforms which is what Slovenia needs right now and he asked citizens of Ljubljana no vote for one of three parties and against Janez Janša and the ruling coalition. Which sounds a bit like re-inventing hot water.

It should be noted, however, that there is one notable exception to Janković’s prefferences: DeSUS – the pensioners’ party. Its president Karel Erjavec namely did not promise Zoran Janković that DeSUS will not enter the coalition with Janša, which seems rahter prudent, since they are poised to play the role of kingmaker and could see a lot of political favours thrown their way. But should they opt to support the political left (which- according to their platform – is their natural enviroment) then the profile of the future government would be all but set. But this is not yet the case.

What is interesting, however, is the awe with which the three parties have looked up to Zoran Janković. The parties were almost competing in which will get a more solid support by the mayor of Slovenia’s capital, as if it were up to him who will win and who will lose. Naturally, it is not up to him (thankfuly) but his peculiar political style, which is an explosive mix of arrogance, naivette, shrewdness, self promotion and political ideals (I am fully aware of the contradictions here, thank you very much) seems to resound well with people far beyond Ljubljana borders. He has a can-do mentality and the people seem to like that, despite the fact that he still somewhat of a political rookie. Or – perhaps – precisely because of that.

In related news, however, former President Milan Kučan said publicly that he will support Social Democrats. This is good news for Borut Pahor, since Kučan is still widely respected and reveered all across Slovenia.

Tommorow: what could go wrong on election day

How The Election System Works

Electoral units (brown lines) and electoral precints (black lines) (source)

So, today is the day when I write my long-dreaded and difficult post on Slovenian election system. 😕


Slovenian parliament is consisted of 90 deputies (MPs). 88 of those are elected in general elections, whereas Hungarian and Italian minority get one MP each, elected in their special elections. Political parties which compete for the 88 parliamentary seats must win at least 4 percent of the vote to be eligible to enter the parliament.


Members of Hungarian and Italian minorities vote twice. As citizens of the Republic of Slovenia they cast their vote for any of the parties competing for the 88 seats, but as members of a minority, they also cast a vote for minority MP. Only a member of a minortiy can run for a minority seat in the parliament, and he can be elected only by members of his/her minority. There are some 9000 members of Italian minority and some 3000 members of Hungarian minority in Slovenia and their MPs traditionally sided with whatever government there was in power.


Slovenia is divided into eight voting units, each of them divided into eleven voting precincts, equaling 88 precincts, with 11 MPs elected from a particular unit. But – as we shall see – this does not mean that every precinct gets its own MP. Technically, the system in place is called “proportional electoral system with elements of majoritarian system“.

Also, bear in mind that votes for parties which have not received more 4 percent of the vote or more, will not be included in the calculation of the result.

The number of mandates (seats in the parliament) is calculated twice, first using the Drop quota, and then using the d’Hondt method.


After he votes had been counted by precinct voting committees, all the votes for a particular party are calculated on a per-voting-unit basis and then divided by twelve. We get a number which the total number of votes for a party is divided with. The result (rounded to the lower non-decimal number) is the number of seats for a particular party. Which of the party’s candidates from a the voting unit will make it to the parliament, however, will depend on how many votes they have received in their respective precinct.

Let’s assume that party X got some 60.000 votes in a voting unit which consists of some 200.000 eligible voters. Divide that with 12 and you get 16.666,67. Now divide 60.000 (the number of votes) with 16.667,<67 and you get 3.59 mandates. This means that our party X got 3 mandates, which go to those three candidates from its list which have received the largest number of votes in their respective precints. Apply this method to every other party and repeat for all eight voting units, and you have given away most of the 88 mandates. D’HONDT METHOD

What is left of the 88 mandates is calculated using the d’Hondt method. This was a pain the arse even when I was at the university, so forgive me for being a bit slow in writing this… In this method, the total number of mandates all parties would have received on state level is calculated, by dividing total number of votes by every number from 1 to 88, where the quotient (1 to 88) is increased by one when the result of the operation for the strongest party equals less than the total number of votes for the next strongest party.

Have a good look at this Wikipedia example for a detailed explanation.

Hoever, in case of Slovenia and our party X the d’Hont method is only used to get the number of mandates beyond what the party had already won using the Droop quota. So, if Party X got 15 mandates using the Droop quota and would have goten seventeen mandates using d’Hondt method, it gets two additional mandates, totalling seventen.

PROs and CONs

One of the drawbacks of this system is that not every precinct necesarily gets its own MP. Since candidates of every party are listed according to the number of votes in voting unit it is possible for a precinct to be MP-less if most of its candidates across the board fared miserably compared to their coleagues in other precintcs within the voting unit. Also, the system allows for the mathematical possibility that Candidate A for party X gets more votes in voting unit 1 than candidate B in voting unit 2, but it will be candidate B who gets in the parliament, because he fared better within the unit.

On the other hand, the above anomalies are not all that abundant, whereas the system as such prevents MPs as being solely representatives of their constituents. Rather, each of them is reprepsenting voters as a whole, making it a trifle more difficult for an MP to push a set of particular interests on the agenda.

I hope any of this made sense. My head is still spinning 😀

Tommorow: Whom did Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković pick as his favourite?