Slovakia’s Smer Party May Gain Half of Seats in Vote, Poll Shows

Support for Slovakia’s main opposition party, Smer, rose before this weekend’s early elections as current governing-coalition parties lose ground because of public discontent over corruption allegations.

Smer, led by former Premier Robert Fico, would receive 39.7 percent in the March 10 vote, giving it 75 seats in the 150-seat assembly, according to a poll conducted Feb. 21-27 by Focus, a private company. The four parties in Iveta Radicova’s Cabinet would get a combined 27.6 percent, the Bratislava, Slovakia- based Focus said today.

A leaked suspected intelligence file suggesting ties between politicians and local businessmen during the 2002-2006 rule of Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, another former premier, have sparked rallies and weakened support for his SDKU party to 5.1 percent from 6.1 percent three weeks earlier.

The public discontent over corruption is helping bolster the chances for new parties to clear the 5 percent threshold needed to gain entrance to Parliament, according to the poll.

Ordinary People and 99 Percent, both established last year, would gain 6.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, according to the poll conducted on a sample of 1,036 respondents. No margin of error was given.

The following is a table of preferences for parties, which would be represented in parliament, according to the Focus poll:

Party February 21-27, % February 1-7, %

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Smer                      39.7                      37.3
Christian Democrats*      10.4                      10.3
Most-Hid*                  7.0                       6.0
Ordinary People            6.7                       8.9
99 Percent                 5.2                       6.9
SDKU*                      5.1                       6.1
Freedom and Solidarity*    5.1                       5.9

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Source: Focus. * - member of the current ruling coalition

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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