Danuse Nerudova, via Facebook.

Nerudova Leads In Presidential Election Polls For The First Time

Support for Nerudova, an economist and former university rector, has been increasing steadily. Photo credit: Danuse Nerudova, via Facebook.

Prague, Dec 10 (CTK) – Danuse Nerudova is the leading candidate for the Czech presidency for the first time, currently polling at 28%, ahead of Andrej Babis (26.5%) and Petr Pavel (23.5%), according to the latest poll from the Median agency released yesterday.

Previous polls by Median and other agencies have placed either Babis or Pavel first, with Nerudova following closely in third.

Support for Nerudova, an economist and former university rector, has continued to increase. In the previous Median poll in November she was on 15%, and in October 10%.

Support for the other two leading candidates has increased over the past month as well, but not so markedly – opposition leader and former prime minister Babis (ANO) is polling 4.5% higher than in the previous poll, and retired general and former NATO and Czech military official Pavel is up 1%. In the previous Median poll, Pavel was the most popular.

In the second round of the presidential election, which will see the two most successful candidates go head-to-head unless one of them wins a majority in the first round, both Nerudova and Pavel would defeat Babis, according to current polling.

However, many voters remain undecided. “This is why it is not appropriate to clearly predict which of the candidates will eventually advance to the second round,” said the report from Median.

The other presidential candidates are trailing far behind, hovering around 5% of the vote or below.

Political analyst Petr Just, of the Prague Metropolitan University, told CTK that Nerudova’s strong showing in the Median election model reflected a rising tendency, but other agencies’ polls would have to confirm it. However, the upward trend of support for Nerudova was apparent from the previous polls, he added.

The Median pollsters write that Nerudova has succeeded in becoming more known among the public and addressing a broader group of voters, not just younger ones. However, she still enjoys the highest support among voters aged 25 to 34, university graduates, and students.

Babis is primarily supported by the elderly aged over 65 and people with lower education. Pavel also enjoys the highest support among the elderly, but his voters are spread more proportionately across all age categories, sociologists say.

Babis still has the biggest core voter base, meaning the voters who are firmly determined to vote for him – they make up 19% of voters. Nerudova’s hardcore voters make up 15% and Pavel’s 11%.

Of the candidates, Nerudova has the biggest election potential, meaning the share of votes that a candidate could potentially win out of all those considering voting for them who have not ruled out participating in the election. This figure is 41.5% for Nerudova, 39% for Pavel, and 35.5% for Babis.

When it comes to turnout, 62% of respondents say they will definitely vote in the presidential election, while another 12.5% are considering voting.

The first round of the presidential election will be held on 13-14 January, with the possible second round two weeks later.

The Median poll was conducted in late November and early December on a sample of 1,010 respondents over 18. All candidates who submitted presidential bids were included in the survey.

Of the 21 bids submitted, the Interior Ministry registered nine for the presidential race on 25 November, and rejected the remaining 12 bids due to their failure to meet all requirements, mainly gathering the required number of signatures in support of their bids.

Five rejected candidates: Karel Janecek, Karel Divis, Roman Hladik, Pavel Zitko and Libor Hrancik, complained to the Supreme Administrative Court (NSS); the court rejected the complaints filed by Zitko and Hladik on Wednesday. The NSS also received a proposal from a group of senators supporting senator Marek Hilser to cancel the registration of Denisa Rohanova’s candidacy. The court must decide on the closely-watched complaints concerning Janecek, Divis and Rohanova by 15 December.

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