Analyst: Political Comeback of Christian Democrats Real Surprise of EP Race

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KDH leader Alojz Hlina (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, May 26 (TASR) – The greatest leap in popularity and the surprise of the 2019 European Parliament election is the non-parliamentary Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), which managed to stage a political comeback and acquire two MEPs seats according to preliminary results, Vaclav Hrich of AKO agency stated on Sunday.

Hrich also finds the boost in voter turnout a positive signal, indicating that people are starting to take interest in what’s happening in EU. However, public awareness of the European Parliament’s powers is still not “anywhere near the level it should be”.

“As a non-parliamentary party, KDH seems to return to the percentage it commanded in the aftermath of the (2017) regional election. KDH pulled off quite a feat and all the more so if we take into account the fact it faced a relatively strong competition,” said Hrich.

The preliminary results also demonstrated that there is a demand in Slovakia for a party such as far-right LSNS. “It’s not so pronounced yet; not all voters managed to mobilise to grant this party a victory,” he claimed.

According to Hrich, Smer-SD paid the price for not having many household names on its election slate, a few exceptions aside. The same problem was encountered also by fellow junior coalition parties SNS and Most-Hid.

The potential of governing Smer-SD party is declining, which might manifest in the upcoming 2020 general election. A different trend is seen with the Progressive Slovakia-Together, which was expected to see a gradual drop from the high figures it had garnered in the 2019 presidential election. “But against expectations, it seems that they’ve managed to keep that euphoria alive and well.”

The voter turnout benefitted in Hrich’s view from political communication warning of the threat of far-right LSNS’s potential success. Hrich believes that this helped mobilising voters, “even though 20 percent is still too low, but still better than 13 percent [seen in 2014 EP election]”.