The Slovenia Times

Right Suffers Electoral Defeat


The Democrats (SDS) have gone from 26 seats in the current parliament to a projected 21, their worst showing since 2000.

The People's Party (SLS) failed to make the 4% threshold for parliament after having been in every parliament since independence, though votes from abroad could still conceivably push it over the limit.

The only party to have made gains is New Slovenia (NSi), which went from four MPs to five according to near-final unofficial results.

While the SDS has been blamed its poor showing on what it calls "illegitimate elections" due to the imprisonment of their leader Janez Janša, others on the right have called for reflection.

NSi leader Ljudmila Novak has described the results on the right as "worrying", requiring an analysis of how to move forward.

SLS leader Franc Bogovič likewise acknowledged that "we're all losers if you look at the results of the right bloc".

If the SLS does not make it to parliament with mail-in ballots, he said he would accept responsibility and step down.

However, he is adamant that the party will put on a strong showing in the local elections in the autumn and eventually return to parliament, just like the NSi did three years ago.

Ivan Oman, an 84-year old retired politician who led the SLS from 1988 to 1992, meanwhile blamed the party's poor showing on internal struggles.

But two prominent NSi politicians think the problem goes deeper.

NSi deputy group leader Matej Tonin said the election was "a signal to the right that it needs to tackle these things differently".

The centre-right bloc should close ranks and find a strategy to achieve 46 votes that it needs to "change Slovenia", said Tonin, who blames the "failure to realise that the spring [centre-right] bloc comprises three parties, not just one".

MEP Lojze Peterle of the NSi called for an immediate "serious analysis and reflection" on what happened on the right.

"One needs to take into consideration that [the right] achieved the result from a favourable position in the opposition. When you're in the opposition it's easier to achieve a better result."

Analysis of exit polls shows that the SDS and SLS saw a portion of their voters defect to other parties, in particular the election winners, the centrist Party of Miro Cerar.

Another explanation for their poor showing might be the turnout, which at 51% was down almost fifteen points compared to the 2011 election.

However, the results also suggest there may have been a broader realignment away from the right.

This can be made out from the success of the socialist United Left (ZL), which has emerged as the fourth-strongest party with six MPs, as well as the success of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), the third strongest player with ten MPs.


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