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.

(Aneta Zachová | EURACTIV.cz)

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