Czech Nationalists, Populists Dominate Opinion Polls

A new opinion poll suggests that the populist ANO party of former prime minister Andrej Babiš is most popular among voters just a week ahead of municipal and senate elections.

Conducted by the STEM agency for CNN Prime News, the poll which was published on Sunday found that Babiš’ enjoys 30% of voter confidence, followed by the anti-EU Freedom and Democracy Party (ID) with 14.3%.

“The Freedom and Democracy Party is gaining ground at a time of heated moods and uncertain prospects thanks to its long-standing anti-establishment basis,” the STEM agency commented.

Both parties are very critical of the EU, particularly amid the current energy crisis. They favour nationalistic and populistic solutions while promising lower living costs to their potential voters.

The ruling party of Civic Democrats (ECR) got only 14.2%. Their coalition partners, Pirates (Greens/EFA), reached 9.4%, but other parties of the five-party coalition government would barely reach the 5% threshold to enter the Czech Parliament.

On the other hand, the ANO movement is preferred among Czech voters over 60 and those with a lower education rate. ANO is also very popular in small towns, while the governing parties are more successful in big cities and among people with a university diploma.

The poll was conducted at the beginning of September when a massive anti-government demonstration occurred in Prague.

Median survey: Babiš still in the lead, but Pavel gaining in presidential race

The former prime minister of Czechia and the current chairman of the ANO party, Andrej Babiš, polled highest in a Median agency August survey of presidential candidates with 23.5 percent of the hypothetical vote.

He was followed by retired General Petr Pavel who polled at 22 percent. Compared with the previous month, Mr. Babiš lost two percentage points while General Pavel gained one point.

In a hypothetical second round of elections General Pavel would win, according to the survey, with 58 percent of the vote.

However, more than a fifth of respondents said that they were still undecided who they would vote for in the second round.

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