Ljubljana – One week into the election campaign, Slovenia’s political arena, as mapped by opinion polls, is split into several parts, with Janez Janša’s Democrats (SDS) and Robert Golob’s Freedom Movement farthest ahead in the election race, the newspaper Večer says in Saturday’s commentary, headlined Two Horses and the Other Rides of Fate.
Three weeks before the general election, the situation is unpredictable, and could be upset by various unforeseeable events or major mistakes by the main protagonists.
The SDS is faced with the greatest degree of rejection by part of voters, while at the same time having a solid pool of voters who would not be moved by any SDS scandal.
The situation is more complicated with Golob, who does not have a solid pool of voters yet. His supporters get quickly enthusiastic about new faces but their enthusiasm could also quickly wane.
Support for his party has not increased for a while, which shows a breakthrough towards 30% has not happened, probably (also) because he has not yet presented his broader team.
Janša has meanwhile used the war in Ukraine to refocus the election campaign – he is sending “deputies” to appear in election debates who are making sure that the political arena remains rude and who are are trying to de-motivate the undecided voters.
Janša himself is playing the role of a distanced statesman who is “saving the world”, while withdrawing from other key issues such as poor epidemic management, inflation, dismantling of democracy or looting state-owned companies.
The “two-horse” race has put centre-left parties at a disadvantage. While they are on “the safe side of the radar”, they keep polling low because of the nature of the current political struggle.
Večer believes that the fundamental problem of the four centre-left KUL parties is their failure to present a clear-cut programme to “normalise and democratise” Slovenia in response to a deterioration of the country’s democratic standards under Janša’s government.