Proposal to ban pre-election polls voted down

Ljubljana – A proposal sponsored by the opposition National Party (SNS) and backed by the ruling Democratic Party (SDS) to ban publication of political opinion polls for half a year before elections was voted down by the National Assembly on Wednesday. 33 MPs voted in favour and 42 against the bill.

The SNS’s proposal envisaged financial fines for those who would flout such a ban.

On the bill’s first reading last week, SNS leader Zmago Jelinčič argued that public opinion surveys did not measure the voters’ sentiment but rather “create public opinion at the dictate of certain centres of power, uncles pulling the strings and mainly the left political bloc, which still wields most influence in the media and has most media in its hands”.

On first reading, the bill was backed by the SDS, which too argued that some polling agencies directed rather than measured the public opinion. Other deputy factions opposed the proposal, noting that the Constitutional Court had already declared it would go against the constitution to ban publication of opinion polls seven days ahead of the voting day.

The release of such polls or any other political campaigning is banned only on the day before the election and until the polling stations close on voting day as the election blackout is observed in Slovenia.