Delo’s Barbara Hočevar reported in the paper yesterday that the popularity of Slovenia’s Prime Minister Marjan Šarec continues to grow together with the support for the party he leads, LMŠ, according to an opinion poll conducted in February. For the first time since the elections in June 2018, both were at the top of the list of the most popular politician and the most popular party. Approvals of the government’s work and that of the National Assembly have also increased, with two thirds rating the government’s work as positive or very positive.
Asked which party would get their vote if parliamentary elections were held now, 22.4% of respondents said it would be LMŠ, which is as much as 8% more than a month ago. The right-wing SDS, which regularly scooped most of the votes in recent years, would have received 15.1% of the votes, a 1% less than in January, according to a poll conducted by Mediana, the Institute for market and media research. Significantly, the number of undecided respondents fell considerably – from 21% to 14%.
The poll was carried out on a sample of 731 adults between 29th January and 6th February. During that period Šarec was facing some turbulent waters. First, he survived an impeachment notion filed by two rightist opposition parties, SDS and SNS. The parties accused Šarec of violating the Constitution by delaying the increase in funding for private schools as ruled by the Constitutional Court in 2014. Currently, private schools in Slovenia receive 85% funding from the state, and the court ruled the funding for all schools, including private, has to be 100%.
The poll also took place after troubling events at the Ministry of Culture, where Minister Dejan Prašiček was forced to resign after being accused of bullying employees and abusing his office. But neither of those events impacted negatively on Šarec’s and LMŠ’s popularity.
Since September 2018, LMŠ has almost tripled its support, but Hočevar points out that this is primarily a reflection of Šarec’s popularity, who overtook President Borut Pahor for the first time on the popularity barometer.
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