Babiš will be strengthened in this year's elections. But 2024 will be the year of a different politician

RWell 2024, if not the year of “big” elections, could be the year of fundamental changes in the Czech political scene. This can be seen from two clues. First, the dissatisfaction of a part of the government electorate with Fiala's system, and second, according to polls, the parties' attempt to have a greater say in the larger politics. . So what will happen in 2024?

As a warm-up, let's predict the election results. This year, we will have three “second order” elections. In May we vote for the European Parliament, in October for regional councils and a third of the Senate. Expect the Yes movement to gain strength in all these elections.

What does the result look like in numbers?

If we look at the past results, we can see that yes European elections In 2019 and 2020 they won a combined 21 percent of the vote in the region. Obviously the lower electoral gains are at the expense of voter turnout, which is significantly lower in these elections than in parliamentary elections. But what is significant is that the YES movement's nationwide preferences are now roughly five percentage points higher than in 2019 and 2020. Then they were less than thirty percent, now they are thirty-five percent.

Therefore, unless some drastic event happens, ANO will have a significant electoral victory over the last time. He can get more than 25 percent of the vote in European and regional elections. He will improve his position in the Senate, which now has only six senators because of the disadvantageous two-round election system. None of this will have an immediate, practical effect on national politics, but will increase tensions in the ranks of the current coalition.

This brings us to what could happen in 2024 in the government camp. Already at the end of 2023, it is clear that voters of the Five Alliance are dissatisfied with the performance of Fiala's lineup. They mainly blamed her for incomprehensible communication and conflict of attitude. The symbol of both was an attempt at budgetary consolidation on the one hand and a reluctance to tax alcohol on the other. The result of the disappointment was an increase in the preferences of the ANO movement, but above all a significant decrease in the willingness of government voters to come to the next election. This opened up opportunities for the formation of a new political party.

It is not excluded that the installation of a new build will actually happen. One indication is the debate in Czech supporter circles about the introduction of the euro. But above all, the political arrival of Miroslav Kaloska, a strong political personality, although he has many enemies, but at the same time a large number of enthusiastic fans. From his behavior, which is highly critical of the actions of the government coalition, it can be sensed that he does not link his future with the existing center-right organizations.

Even his interest in running for the European Parliament for the first 09th place on the candidate list of the Spolu coalition was assessed by insiders as an attempt to break the coalition, as ODS and KDU-ČSL did not want him on the candidate list. A keen interest in parking in European structures. In the end, TOP 09 prefers cooperation in Spolu over Kalousek, which Kalousek can now use as an excuse, “he tried hard, but now he has no choice but to make his own project”.

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Of course – as TOP 09 was established – he will need other strong and respected personalities with him, and the Czech Republic does not have a second Karel Schwarzenberg. So we'll see. The probability of a new formation changing conditions on the democratic side of the spectrum is only approximately fifty percent. This is still fifty percent higher than a year ago.

The same is true in the part of the political spectrum now outside the House of Representatives. The two to four per cent parties, which are the single largest parties, have begun to understand that it is difficult to rise to power on their own. We saw signs of consolidation already in the fall, when the leaders of Sokhtem Michael Smarta and Pisahi Robert Lachta appeared at a joint press conference. A lower electoral threshold for coalitions (a two-member coalition needs seven percent to enter the lower house) will encourage them to further rapprochement and collective progress. Okamura's SPD's collaboration with Tricolora was practically a done deal. All this would mean strengthening the spectrum part of Babiš's ANO's logical allies.

2024 will only be a “precursor” to the key year 2025, which will determine the direction of the Czech Republic for the next period. But we will see significant trends in its course. If Petr Fiala's wish for a significant improvement in the economic situation from his Christmas speech is not fulfilled by two hundred percent, the current government coalition will not be happy with the development.

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