City Hall race is tight in Prague

Two polls say Pirates would come in second but disagree on the winner

The Civic Democrats (ODS) would win in the municipal elections, followed by the Pirates and ANO, according to a recent STEM / MARK poll.

A different resent poll by SANEP had a much closer race with ANO winning, the Pirates second and ODS third. The Social Democrats (ČSSD) would fail to get any seats in the City Assembly in both polls.

The electorate is quite divided, with no party even getting one-fifth of the vote. Some 29 parties, movements or associations are on the Prague ballot.

The municipal elections will take place Oct. 5–6, and expats from EU countries can vote if they have registered with their local administrative office at least two days before the election.

The ODS, led on the Prague ballot by by former mayor Bohuslav Svoboda, has support of 17 percent of those polled, while the Pirates, led by Zdeněk Hřib, and ANO, led by Petr Stuchlík, were tied for second at 15 percent, according to a STEM / MARK poll conducted for daily Mladá fronta Dnes (MfD).

Coming in fourth place with 12 percent was the coalition of TOP 09, Mayors and Independents (STAN), the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) and two smaller parties. Praha sobě would get 8 percent.

Other parties according to the opinion poll, would not get past the 5 percent cutoff for seats in the Municipal Assembly. These include the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) at 4 percent and the Social Democrats (ČSSD) at 2 percent.

The STEM / Mark opinion poll took place Sept. 11–19, with 1,103 respondents.

A poll by SANEP, released Sept. 12, showed a closer race with ANO at 12.6 percent and the Pirates at 12.5 percent, followed by ODS at 11.2 percent. The TOP 09 coalition had 10.8 percent in this survey, and Praha sobě at 6.1 percent. The ČSSD and SPD both fail to break the threshold.

Jakub Landovský, who heads the ballot for ČSSD, told MfD that he does not believe the poll numbers, and other polls showed the party between 7.5 percent and 9 percent. He added he was confident the party would make it into City Hall, and that opinion polls for previous elections turned out to be quite inaccurate.

A previous poll conducted for Czech Television by Kantar TNS in August showed the Pirates were in the lead, followed by ANO. The ČSSD had 2.5 percent in that poll.

ANO came in first in the 2014 elections and currently holds the mayoral position in Prague City Hall. ANO now leads a ruling coalition that also includes the ČSSD and a coalition of Greens, STAN and the KDU-ČSL.

Some three-fifths of eligible voters in the STEM / MARK poll said they will actually vote, which would be higher than in the 2014 elections.

Half of those polled said they were not satisfied with how Prague is currently run, and in particular are unhappy with public transit.

Forming a coalition after the election my pose difficult, as the Pirates have said they will not form coalitions with parties where people have multiple functions or have members who are being prosecuted.

Possible coalitions would be ODS and ANO, or TOP 09 and STAN with Praha sobě. The Assembly has 65 seats, with 33 needed for a majority. In addition to the Assembly, there is a City Council made up of members of the ruling coalition. The current City Council has 11 members. 

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