The Slovenia Times

Floods reflect on govt and party ratings

Prime Minister Robert Golob (right) shakes hands with his predecessor in office Janez Janša as they meet in the flood-hit village of Struge with former President Borut Pahor standing by.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The catastrophic floods that hit Slovenia in early August have also reflected on how the government, parties and individual politicians are doing in the opinion polls. Voters appear to be happy with the government's response so far, but the ruling party has now lost the lead in all opinion polls.

The Vox Populi poll, released by the newspaper Dnevnik on 21 August, was the third major poll to show the opposition Democrats (SDS) of the previous Prime Minister Janez Janša taking the lead ahead of the Freedom Movement of Prime Minister Robert Golob.

The SDS gained 3 percentage points on the month before to poll at 23.9%, which gives it a 0.2-point edge on the Freedom Movement, which lost 2.3 points to 23.7%.

This is the first time since the April 2022 general election that the ruling party lost primacy in this poll. The same happened in the poll run by the newspaper Delo on 16 August, which put the SDS on 23.6% and the Freedom Movement on 22%.

However, the commercial broadcaster POP TV had the SDS in the lead ahead of the Freedom Movement already in June and July. The opposition's party lead was reduced to half a percentage point in July and the voter approval rating for the government slightly improved in that poll.

The ranking of the other parliamentary parties varies from one poll to another, with the opposition party New Slovenia (NSi) and the junior coalition party Social Democrats (SD) virtually neck and neck at 6.8% against 6.6% in the Dnevnik poll, followed by Left, the smallest ruling coalition party, in fifth at 4.9%.

The Delo poll had the SocDems and the Left at 6.6% and 6%, respectively, ahead of the NSi at 4.5%.

The voter approval rating for the government improved in both those polls, going from 2.66 to 2.89 on the scale of 1 to 5 in the Delo poll. The proportion of respondents who rated the cabinet's job as positive or very positive rose by 8.7 points to 32.8%, against 34.7% who rated it negatively, down by 8.8 points.

"We could conclude that the data shows that a large part of the public finds that the government has responded well to the flooding," Delo commented when releasing the poll, adding that the trend in the coming weeks and months will also depend on the government's future flood-related measures.

In the poll commissioned by Dnevnik more than a half of respondents (51.7%) said the government was doing a good job, while 44.9% disagreed.

This is the highest the government has polled recently after rating at between 46% and 50% in recent months. Dnevnik speculates the result could have to do with ongoing measures to tackle the impact of the flooding.

The involvement in flood relief efforts also reflects on the rating of politicians with Prime Minister Robert Golob and Defence Minister Marjan Šarec making gains in the Delo poll, and Šarec and SDS leader Janez Janša climbing in the Dnevnik rankings. Janša has joined the flood clean-up effort as a volunteer and has also been supportive of the government's flood relief measures.

The best rated politician in both polls remains President Nataša Pirc Musar ahead of Anže Logar, an SDS MP and former foreign minister. Prime Minister Robert Golob climbed from 6th to 3rd in the Delo poll, while he ranks 4th in the Dnevnik poll behind NSi MEP Ljudmila Novak.

Jernej Vrtovec, the NSi MP who served as previous infrastructure minister and has spoken for the party in response to the floods, climbed five spots to rank 10th, and Minister Šarec was up two spots to 11th as Janša soared by seven rungs to rank 13th.

Commenting on the SDS opening a lead over the ruling party in the June poll commissioned by POP TV from Mediana, the polling agency's director Janja Božič Marolt said the drop in support for the Freedom Movement and stable support for the SDS did not necessarily indicate a new trend, but said the drop "will be hard to come back from".


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