Slovak SMER party’s lead shrinks as rival PS jumps before Sept 30 election -IPSOS poll

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Sept 27 (Reuters) – Slovak opposition party SMER-SSD, led by former prime minister Robert Fico, held a narrowing lead over its liberal challenger Progresivne Slovensko ahead of a Sept. 30 election, according to IPSOS agency’s final poll published on Wednesday.

The poll, conducted for news website, surveyed 1,000 participants between Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, put support for SMER-SDD at 20.6% to 19.8% for Progresivne Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia – PS). PS jumped by 2.6 percentage points, while SMER-SSD rose by 0.3 percentage points from a poll taken between Sept. 15 and Sept. 19.

The poll showed eight parties would win seats in the parliament. However, none would secure a majority and would need to rely on partners to rule. How coalition building could develop was far from certain.

Slovaks head to the polls earlier than planned after a centre-right coalition government collapsed last year and a caretaker government took over in May.

Illegal migration and Slovakia’s support for Ukraine have been among top issues for parties campaigning, with Fico looking to return his SMER-SSD party to power with pledges to defend national interests and end military support for Kyiv.

That would be a shift in policy that Progressive Slovakia leader Michal Simecka has warned could push the country into isolation. He has promised to maintain support for Ukraine as it fights a Russian invasion, in line with EU and NATO partners.

Sept 2720.611.919.
Sept 2120.313.
January 202313.618.

NOTE: threshold for parties to win seats is 5% and 7% for coalitions

Party descriptions:

* SMER-SSD- Direction-Slovak Social Democracy (leftist party of three-time prime minister Robert Fico)

* HLAS- Voice (leftist party of former prime minister Peter Pellegrini who split from SMER)

* Progresivne Slovensko- Progressive Slovakia (liberal party)

* SaS-Sloboda a Solidarita- Freedom and Solidary (liberal former ruling party)

* OLANO- Ordinary People and Independent Personalities-OLANO (centrist, anti-graft former ruling party)

* Republika- Republic (far-right party)

* KDH- Christian Democrat Movement (Christian conservative party)

* SME RODINA- We Are Family (centrist former ruling party)

* SNS- Slovak National Party (nationalist party)

* DEMOKRATI- Democrats (centrist, pro-European party led by former prime minister Eduard Heger)

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