In early June, i.e. a few days before the election, over a half of voters were decided which party to vote for. Less than a fifth of voters (17%) admitted they might change their mind and the same number of respondents (18%) said they were unlikely to vote. Roughly a tenth of respondents did not know. Since this year’s first survey, conducted in late March and early April, there was a gradual increase in the number of the decided, setoff mostly by a drop in the number of those dithering.

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When evaluating party preferences in June, the Public Opinion Research Centre employed, compared to surveys conducted in the period between elections, different methods. As was the case in late May, all respondents eligible to vote were on 5 to 12 June 2002 asked a closed question investigating which party they will vote for in the June election to the Chamber of Deputies. The respondents were shown cards with names of all political parties running in the election to the Chamber of Deputies.

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To clarify how the electorate decides, a May survey of the Public Opinion Research Centre investigated to what extent voters were certain of their party securing sufficient votes to get into the Chamber of Deputies, and how they would behave if not fully certain about it winning seats in the Chamber of Deputies. All those who said which party they wanted to vote for (856 respondents) were asked the following question: ‘Do you think that in the coming election this party will secure sufficient votes to get into the Chamber of Deputies?’ A majority (84%) of respondents are certain that the party of their choice will, whereas 11% are not and 5% do not know.

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When evaluating party preferences in May, the Public Opinion Research Centre employed, compared to previous surveys, different methods. In a departure from tradition, all respondents eligible to vote were asked a closed question investigating which party they will vote for in the June election to the Chamber of Deputies. The respondents were shown cards with names of all political parties running in the coming election to the Chamber of Deputies.

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Activities of the US-DEU and the ODS in the Chamber of Deputies are more frequently assessed positively by better-educated people and people with good living standards. Citizens with good living standards also more frequently give positive assessment of activities of the CSSD. The KDU-CSL receives an above-average positive assessment in the Olomouc region, whereas it is perceived negatively in big cities.

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Since the end of January, when the first survey related to the coming election was conducted, the public considered the ODS and the CSSD to be the two undisputed and very close champions in the election – these two parties kept consolidating their position during the following months, to the detriment of the Coalition, the third most successful group. After the last poll, carried out in late April, the Coalition still had a narrow lead over the KSCM, the fourth most successful party.

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How did the electorate perceive the election campaign? According to how respondents of the ‘Our society 2002’ survey assessed the election campaign, it seems that the public was, well in advance, getting psychologically ready for a much fiercer election battle of political parties. In April, i.e. before the peak of the election campaign, respondents were rather critical of the campaign, whereas in late May they were somewhat more willing to admit that election campaigns are necessary and provide them with information about programmes of political parties.

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Only 14% of respondents classify themselves as staunch party supporters. On the other hand, 28% of those polled would vote a certain party just because it annoys them the least. The party orientation and a suitable programme are the strongest motivation to vote for a certain party. The family background and participation in party life play the least important role.

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Current results show that nearly two thirds of respondents (63%) take a critical view of how parties behave, of which 41% generally dislike the behaviour of parties and 22% say that the situation makes them disgusted. On the other hand, 26% of those polled are critical of some parties only and 2% of respondents express general satisfaction with how political parties behave. Compared to this January, there was a slight drop in generally critical assessments and an increase in the percentage of those respondents who are critical of some parties only.

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In late April, a half of the electorate was determined which party to vote for, whereas roughly a quarter admitted they might change their mind. 17% said they were unlikely to vote and almost a tenth does not know. Compared to the last survey, conducted in late March and early April, the percentage of the decided voters increased by 6 points, while the number of the undecided decreased.

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