The public considers the ODS and the CSSD to be two equal champions in the election, while not so many people believe in the success of the former Four-Coalition. It is widely believed that the election will not result in a change in the current state of affairs.
The ODS and the CSSD obtained most votes (both 19%) in the assessment of political personalities. In this respect, the results of the ODS and the CSSD were similar (see table 2) also before the 1998 election, whereas in 1996, the ODS had a commanding lead in the assessment of political personalities. The ODS is most frequently regarded by respondents as a party that makes the greatest contribution towards the development of entrepreneurship (40%) and that will best ensure the interests of the Czech Republic (18%).
From the leaders of the parties represented in the Parliament of the Czech Republic the highest level of public confidence was achieved by V. Špidla (57%). He is followed by Svoboda (37%), Marvanová (35%), Klaus (31%), Grebeníček (16%) and Žantovský (13%). Among party leaders people most often concurrently trust V. Špidla and C. Svoboda (26%). The top position remains in the hands of Stanislav Gross (trusted by 72% of the respondents), who is followed by Petra Buzková (65%).
The left-wing orientation is traditionally reported among pensioners, blue-collar workers, respondents with low living standards and sympathisers of the KSCM and the CSSD – the latter also make a strong presence in the middle of the scale. The right-wing orientation is more widespread among people with higher education (high school with a final exam, universities), white-collar personnel, businessmen, intellectual workers, respondents with good living standards, as well as among supporters of the ODS, US-DEU and the 4K.
According to most of the respondents (63%) the morale of the politicians should be viewed more strictly than the morale of other citizens. More people think that politicians should be also judged by their private lives.
The president is trusted by 54%, government by 46%, Chamber of Deputies by 30%, Senate by 25% and regional councils by 28% of the respondents. The level of confidence in Zeman’s government has reached its historical maximum.
Only 13% of respondents classify themselves as staunch party supporters. On the other hand, nearly a third of those polled (30%) 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.
Over two thirds of respondents take a critical view of how parties behave, whereas about a quarter of those polled are at least partly satisfied. During the last three years, there has only been a minor oscillation in opinions on how parties behave. The US-DEU, KSCM and KDU-CSL are generally clearly seen as opposition parties, while classifying the ODS as such is problematic. In respect of activities in the Chamber of Deputies, respondents give the best assessment to the CSSD and the worst to the KSCM.
What do respondents think about the functioning of our political system and how do they evaluate the current political system in comparison with the pre-1989 one? The people polled used an evaluating scale from 1 (the system is functioning very poorly) to 10 (the system is functioning very well) to evaluate individual political systems. The pre-November 1989 political system scored an average rating of 4.