Parties and voters

Those polled who preferred or sympathised with a particular political party (829 respondents) were, as part of an October survey, asked a repeated question examining the intensity of the relation with this political party.

Only 12% of voters classified themselves as staunch party supporters. Traditionally, the largest group approving of most of party activities consistently amounted to between 40 and 50% of those polled.

However, this has only been roughly a third of those polled since 1999 (compared to the last survey, an increase by 5% percentage points has been recorded).

Almost every third voter (currently 28%) consistently prefers a particular political party just because it annoys them the least (i.e. there is no party that the voter would ‘like’). Until 1997, this figure was by over 10 percentage points lower. The above fact illustrates the loosening of ties between voters and preferred parties, with over a half of those polled saying that their relation with the party is quite weak (25% disagree on many issues and 28% do not like any party).

In its October survey, the Public Opinion Research Centre investigated what motivated people to sympathise with parties. The survey focused on people eligible to vote who declared support for a certain political party that they would vote for in an election or at least mentioned a party with which they sympathised.

The respondents almost universally agree that they choose a certain party because they identify with its programme (83%), with the party ideology (82%) and because they place trust in the party leaders (72%). There is slightly less broad consensus about the importance of existing activities of the party (68%). Over a third of supporters of political parties say that their preferences are influenced by the political orientation of their family. It does not come as a surprise that the factor of participation in party life ranked last among the reasons for supporting a party – less than a tenth of respondents currently considerer it to play an important role in their decision-making.