Flash poll indicates Czechs want early elections as soon as possible

Czech Parliament, photo: Filip Jandourek

With the lower house due to vote on its dissolution on Tuesday, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding how this development will affect given political parties and who may or may not support the motion. But how does the public feel about early elections, the rule of the caretaker government and the highly publicized possibility of ex-president Vaclav Klaus returning to active politics. A flash poll conducted jointly by the Agencies Median and STEM/MARK indicates that above all Czechs want change and they want it fast. I called the head of the STEM polling agency Jan Hartl to find out more.

Czech Parliament, photo: Filip Jandourek
“The general view is that people want an early election and they want it as soon as possible, almost half of those polled want a snap election in October. “

The poll also focused on the performance of the caretaker government –on some of the important decisions and the personnel changes it has made – does the public approve?

“The attitude towards the Rusnok cabinet is somewhat hesitant, somewhat cautious. There is no big trust in this government and people do not want it to undertake any crucial, far-reaching decisions. In a way it is logical because if people are demanding an early election in October they clearly see it as a maintenance government.”

Jiří Rusnok, photo: Filip Jandourek
Given everything that has come about – do you think that trust in Czech politics and politicians has reached rock bottom?

“It is more structured. There is now a very low rating of our politicians across the political spectrum. The percentage of people who perceive politicians in a positive way is very low and the number keeps decreasing. It is decreasing as concerns political parties as well, but if we ask general questions, the data show that people have not given up on public issues, they are still interested in politics in a very general sense. To interpret this more closely they are saying: we are very much concerned about public issues but we think that the present actors, that means politicians and parties, are not sufficiently competent to solve the tasks and problems facing our society.”

There has been speculation regarding the possible return of Vaclav Klaus to active politics –how do people feel about that?

Václav Klaus, photo: archive of the Czech Government
“There has been quite a fuss in the media about the possible return of Vaclav Klaus, but the results of surveys show that the time of Vaclav Klaus is clearly over. Only a minority of people would accept Vaclav Klaus in any kind of important political position and even among Civic Democratic Party supporters the demand for Vaclav Klaus is just around 50 percent which is not much compared to the figures we had from polls some years ago. So that means that politically he is inactive, or better to say nearly dead. “