The populist Smer-SSD party of ex-PM Robert Fico has won Slovakia's snap parliamentary elections, defeating its main electoral rival, the pro-EU Progressive Slovakia (PS) movement of liberal MEP Michal Šimečka. Fico’s Smer secured 23% of the popular vote against PS’ 18%, winning the snap election with a higher-than-expected margin at a turnout of 68.5%.
Five other parties made it into parliament: the Hlas-SD party of centre-left ex-PM Peter Pellegrini, the centre-right OL'aNO-Za L'udi alliance of ex-PM Igor Matovič, the Christian democratic KDH, the liberal SaS and the nationalist SNS. Simultaneously, the snap election brought tectonic changes to Slovakia’s multi-party politics, with more than half of the incoming MPs coming from recently founded or extra-parliamentary parties.
Taking the election results and the coalition preferences into account, Aretera's baseline scenario assumes a Smer-led government coalition with Pellegrini's Hlas and the nationalist SNS. Should Fico’s Smer fail to form a governing majority, the second option is a PS-led centrist coalition that includes Hlas, the KDH and the SaS. For Smer and Hlas, the KDH might also be a potential coalition partner, although this is less likely. In any case, the final decision will come down to Pellegrini's Hlas, which remains in the unique position of potentially cooperating with either Smer or PS.
Below, Aretera takes a deeper look at the aftermath of this crucial election.