Shortly after this year’s parliamentary election, the Public Opinion Research Centre examined political activities of respondents in the pre-election period. The survey investigated, inter alia, whether people had attempted to persuade someone to vote for a certain party or candidate (14% of respondents did this at least sometimes) and whether they had expressed their support for a particular party or candidate by visiting a meeting, putting up posters etc (12% of respondents did this at least sometimes).
The data collected clearly show that attitudes of the Czech public towards voting are deeply ambivalent. Those polled almost universally agree that participation in elections is a personal matter (88%) and that the possibility to vote is a right that must be exercised (83%) – in both instances, roughly a tenth of respondents disagreed with the statements. Slightly less consensus exists as to the statements that voting is not a duty but is necessary for society (72%), and that participation in elections is a civic duty (68%).
More than three fifths (61%) of those polled generally take a critical view of how parties behave, of which 41% generally dislike the behaviour of parties and 20% say that the situation makes them disgusted. On the other hand, 27% of respondents are critical of some parties only and only 1% expresses general satisfaction with how political parties behave. The performance of individual parties in the Chamber of Deputies is assessed as follows: the best evaluation is given to the CSSD – assessed favourably by over a half of respondents (54%).
Compared to the pre-election period, post-election political, economic and general expectations of citizens were somewhat more pessimistic following the announcement of the final election results. This shift stems from the absolutely clear post-election disappointment among supporters of the ODS, 90% of whom expected the victory of their party and therefore took a very positive view of the post-election development.
In its post-election survey, the Public Opinion Research Centre posed a few questions examining the decision-making process of voters. More than a fifth of voters made their decision to vote shortly before the election. A further 11% say to have made their decision in the course of May, i.e. approximately a month before the election. An overwhelming majority of voters - 62% - decided (not) to vote well in advance.
In its post-election survey, the Public Opinion Research Centre, inter alia, on shifts in voter support. This print information is based on a comparison between the real decisions of respondents in the recent election and responses about which party they voted in the June 1998 election to the Chamber of Deputies. Our findings indicate that over a tenth (11%) of those who now voted for the KSCM, had supported the CSSD in the previous election.
In late June and early July, the Public Opinion Research Centre focused on citizen satisfaction with the results of the election to the Chamber of Deputies. Over a quarter (28%) of respondents expressed that they were roughly half satisfied with the results. As regards those who provided a more exact opinion, the satisfied outweighed the dissatisfied in a ratio of 31% to 25%. 16% of respondents were unable to answer.
The results from early June show that 56% of respondents take a critical view of how parties behave, of which 34% generally dislike the behaviour of parties and 22% say that the situation makes them disgusted. On the other hand, 27% of those polled are critical of some parties only and 4% express general satisfaction with how political parties behave. Relative satisfaction with how parties behave has been reported among people with good living standards and supporters of the ODS and the CSSD.
During the last two months before the parliamentary election when the election campaign was becoming more intensive, there was a modest increase in the number of respondents (to 48%) saying that they find the campaign annoying. In contrast, fewer respondents held the opinion that the campaign is necessary and influences the election outcome. Political activities of respondents did not change before the election.
Shortly before the parliamentary election, only 14% of respondents classified themselves as staunch supporters. On the other hand, 30% of those polled would vote a certain party just because it annoys them the least. The respondents almost universally agree that they vote for a certain party because they identify with the party ideology (86%), the party programme (85%) and because they place trust in the party leaders (78%).