Friday, 14 December 2018

Babiš remains most popular of party leaders

ČTK |
6 March 2018

Prague, March 5 (CTK) - Prime Minister Andrej Babis (ANO) continues to be the clearly most popular of the heads of the nine parties in the Czech Chamber of Deputies, despite a continuing decline in his popularity, according to a February public opinion poll the STEM agency released on Monday.

Assessed positively by 48 percent of Czechs, Babis leads with more than 10 percent ahead of the runner-up Ivan Bartos, chairman of the Pirate Party, whom 36 percent of people assess positively.

Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura finished third with 35 percent.

Thirty-three percent gave a positive assessment to Jan Hamacek, the brand-new chairman of the Social Democrats (CSSD). The poll, however, was conducted still before the CSSD's February 18 congress that elected Hamacek chairman.

There are only small differences in the popularity of the party chairmen in the following positions.

Vojtech Filip (Communists, KSCM), Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL), Petr Fiala (Civic Democrats, ODS), Jiri Pospisil (TOP 09) and Petr Gazdik (Mayors and Independents, STAN) are popular with 28, 27, 25, 24 and 24 percent of people, respectively, the poll showed.

In January 2017, the popularity of Babis, finance minister in the then centre-left coalition government, reached 57 percent.

In November, it dropped to 52 percent and continued to decline below 50 percent last month.

Babis's single-party ANO minority government was established in December but lost a confidence vote in parliament in January. It continues ruling pending a new government is established, most probably by Babis again.

Compared with the situation in November 2017, a month after the general election, almost all leaders of parliamentary parties have seen their popularity decline. The popularity decline of STAN chairman Gazdik has been the sharpest, 15 percent.

Chairman March 2016 May 2016 October 2016 January 2017 April 2017 November 2017 February 2018
1. A. Babis 56 60 58 57 56 52 48
2. I. Bartos - - - - - 44 36
3. T. Okamura 34 38 38 37 40 43 35
4. J. Hamacek 27 31 24 27 27 - 33
5. V. Filip 29 33 30 27 27 31 28
6. P. Belobradek 36 36 35 34 34 30 27
7. P. Fiala 19 24 21 20 23 34 25
8. J. Pospisil - - - - - 25 24
9. P.Gazdik
21 30 31 33 30 39 24
source: STEM

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