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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In the opinion of about 40% of respondents, the KSCM continues to be the most unacceptable party for our citizens. A fifth up to a fourth would never vote the ODS. The SPR-RSC is considered unacceptable by roughly a tenth of respondents.

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The public is of the opinion that the ODS and the CSSD are two undisputed champions in the election, with the former being closer to victory. Somewhat fewer respondents believed in the success of the Coalition. It is widely believed that the election will not result in a change in the current state of affairs.

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During 22 – 29 April 2002, the Public Opinion Research Centre conducted a regular monthly survey of what the Czech public thinks. This was part of the ‘Our society 2002’ survey and the respondents were selected on a quota basis. A total of 953 persons eligible to vote expressed their opinions on party preferences.

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Data show that the CSSD makes the best impression. It is most frequently perceived as a party that is trustworthy (40%) and beneficial to the country (45%), and less frequently as a party that is only interested in coming to power (57%). Almost a third of those polled hold the view that the ODS and the KDU-CSL are trustworthy and beneficial to the country. They, however, disagree on the third...

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Data show that the CSSD makes the best impression. It is most frequently perceived as a party that is trustworthy (40%) and beneficial to the country (45%), and less frequently as a party that is only interested in coming to power (57%). Almost a third of those polled hold the view that the ODS and the KDU-CSL are trustworthy and beneficial to the country. They, however, disagree on the third statement that ‘the party is only interested in coming to power’.

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