Challenging “elites” helps make Klaus Jr. party lower house contenders

Václav Klaus Jr., photo: ČTK/Roman Vondrouš

A new Kantar CZ opinion poll suggests the Tricolour party of Václav Klaus Jr. would take 6.5 percent of the vote in a general election. It is the first time such a survey has put the conservative grouping, which was launched in June, above the 5 percent threshold needed to enter the Chamber of Deputies. I asked political scientist Petr Just which other parties were likely to be losing voters to Tricolour.

Václav Klaus Jr., photo: ČTK/Roman Vondrouš
“Since Tricolour identifies itself as a party challenging the elites and the elitist system, challenging the liberal democratic system, challenging all these NGOs and particularly publicly service media, they will probably have similar voters to parties like Tomio Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy.

“In general, I think this party will also attract any other voters who feel somehow disappointed, dissatisfied with current developments, who would choose this party as a way to express their protest and their challenge against this system.

“On the other hand, this is quite ironic, because Mr. Klaus Jr. is the son of Václav Klaus, the former prime minister and president, who was very much the co-founder of that system.”

Both Tricolour and Okamura’s Freedom and Direct Democracy are on 6.5 percent, according to this poll. Which of those parties do you think is most likely to make an impact at the next general elections, or even beyond then?

Tomio Okamura, photo: Aktron, CC BY 4.0
“Definitely from the long-term perspective we see that Tricolour is slowly moving up.

“So it doesn’t matter whether they now have 5, 6 or 7 percent – what is clear is that there’s a rising tendency.

“But in the case of Mr. Okamura we see either a decline or a stable position at around 6 or 7 percent support.

“So if I should use these inputs into my evaluation, or into my conclusion, then I would say that Tricolour is on a better trajectory than Freedom and Direct Democracy.”

What about the long-term aims of Tricolour? I’ve read that the party’s ultimate aim may be to try to make Václav Klaus Jr. the next Czech president.

“Newly founded parties created around some strong personality are sometimes understood as also building a base for a future presidential run.

Petr Just, photo: archive of Charles University
“Whether the parties become big or small in future actually makes no difference.

“Parties and party structures in general are very important for creating some technical administrative, financial, logistical and personal ground for running a presidential campaign.

“Basically, party nominees for president can use the advantages of political party structures.

“Václav Klaus Jr.’s name has been rumoured several times among potential presidential candidates, so there would be no surprise if this would be one of the goals of the Tricolour party.”