Ratings before Sunday elections

Political parties are nearing the end of their election campaign and this is the time when everyone is trying to be as loud as possible. However, when it comes to public opinion polls, everything has suddenly gone quiet and it seems that they are ordered and paid for rather than spontaneous.

One of the last published surveys, conducted by the New Serbian Political Thought (NSPM), dates back to mid-November. The results of that poll show that the SNS would win 39.2 percent of votes, Serbia against Violence coalition 25.8 percent, with another 8.4 percent of voters saying that they would vote for an opposition party but did not specify which.

The editor of NSPM, Đorđe Vukadinović, who is a candidate for an MP on behalf of the People’s Party, says that he has not been able to do telephone research in Belgrade lately.

“The SNS have spoiled everything by frequently bothering people with incessant phone calls,” Vukadinović says.

In the absence of surveys, there are bookmakers. Meridian – which predicted a generous lead for the SNS in the last election – this time around predicts that the SNS would win 42.8 of votes while Serbia against Violence coalition 21.3 percent. In terms of the Belgrade election, the predictions are 37.6 and 33.4 percent respectively.

But what’s the point of doing a poll just a few days before the election? Dušan Lj. Milenković, Director of the Sprint Insight political consulting and research agency, says that there are a few benefits:” Surveys that are not published can be useful for political parties to decide how to finish the campaign, which target group or which rival party to focus on because they are their biggest competitors”.

He explains that “Vučić measures the outflow of voters towards the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and based on that, makes a decision how hard he will target the party”.

Encouraging own constituents

Miroslav Aleksić, one of the candidates of the Serbia against Violence election list, said that the opposition will have enough votes to form a “technical government”.

“In Belgrade, the cooperation between all opposition parties won’t be necessary, I think that we will succeed in securing the majority of votes and the new local government will function smoothly,” Aleksić told Insider.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Saturday that the SNS is leading on all fronts because “people realized that Đilas (an opposition politician) is behind everything”. He added that the opposition would lose the Belgrade election.

This is precisely the function of “leaking” poll results to the public or publishing them – to encourage one’s own voters and discourage others.

“Let’s say, you planned to vote for someone and public opinion polls show that that party would not cross the election threshold. This might sway you to vote for someone else, i.e. not to waste your vote,” says Milenkovic.

(Vreme, 11.12.2023)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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