The Serbian Progressive Party normally conducts public opinion polls twice a week and last year alone, which was an election year at both the national and local level, the Progressives spent about half a million euros on market research.
At least that is what the official figures published by the party in its financial report for 2020 show. This amount was significantly higher in 2018, the election year in Belgrade, when the SNS spent up to 861,000 euro for such purposes, which is three times more than in 2019 when there were no consultations.
The leader of the Progressives, Aleksandar Vučić, leaves nothing to chance, so he occasionally checks his and his party’s rating among voters. As he himself admitted in April last year, during the state of emergency, the Progressives regularly conduct opinion polls twice a week.
“I have not been involved in party activities since the state of emergency began, otherwise we usually do surveys twice a week,” Vucic had briefly said on the subject at the time.
The amounts allocated annually for these purposes also show how important polls are for the SNS. According to the Serbian Progressive Party’s financial report for 2020, published on the website of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, last year 57,534,034 dinars or about 490,000 euro were spent on market research.
In 2019, the expenditure had been significantly lower, only 13,596,115 dinars or about 115,000 euro.
Judging by the financial statements, in the last three years, most of the money was spent in 2018, when the rating check had cost 101,667,838 dinars or about 865,000 euro.
Bojan Klačar, director of CeSid, says it is normal that research is an important element for the SNS in election years.
“These figures show that this aspect is very much taken into account in election years. Public survey budgets are expected to be lower in non-election years, and a lot of research needs to be done to be sure which political tactics to choose. This applies to all parties, including the SNS,” Klačar believes.
This post is also available in: Italiano