Possible Forward Scenarios for Slovakia's Snap Elections
Centre-Left-Turned-Populist Ex-PM Eyes Electoral Comeback amid Increasing Fears of Political Instability

September 19, 2023
Slovakia is gearing up for one of its most anticipated elections in recent history. Following years of political turbulence under the country’s previous, centre-right coalition governments, the upcoming snap election on 30 September could see the electoral comeback of longtime former Prime Minister Robert Fico and his centre-left-turned-populist SMER-SSD party.

Since the last parliamentary elections in 2020, Slovakia’s ideologically and structurally diverse political arena has gone through a radical transformation. Latest polls suggest that the populist SMER, which fell out of power in 2020 due to anti-corruption protests, is leading against its main rival, the proEuropean and centrist-liberal Progressive Slovakia (PS) movement, and is on course to form the country’s next government with support from the Slovak far-right.

At the same time, multiple centrist parties are hovering around the electoral threshold, meaning a PSled pro-EU coalition government also remains a possibility. Forming a functioning parliamentary majority and a stable governing coalition will be a significant challenge for either SMER or PS, while an inconclusive result is also a distinct possibility, leading to yet another re-run election and a new caretaker government.

Below, Aretera provides a pre-election overview, with implications for political stability.
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Dominik Istrate, Lead Analyst for Central & Eastern Europe at d.istrate@areterapa.com