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Women want Horáček, men Drahoš, seniors Zeman as president

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Prague, Oct 11 (CTK) – Women prefer lyricist and businessman Michal Horacek, young people former Science Academy (AV) chairman Jiri Drahos and seniors current President Milos Zeman as next Czech head of state in a poll conducted exclusively for Lidove noviny (LN) and released in this paper on Wednesday.

Zeman, 73, would be supported by 36.3 percent of respondents, Drahos, 68, by 25.9 percent and Horacek, 65, by 22.1 percent, according to the poll conducted by the agency of sociologist Jan Herzmann.

The three favourites are followed by Civic Democrat (ODS) senator Jaroslav Kubera, 70, with mere 4.6 percent, who has not announced his presidential candidacy officially yet, however, and physician Marek Hilser, 41, with 3.5 percent.

The poll for the first time offers information about which age, gender and social groups prefer particular candidates, three months before the first round of the presidential election to be held on January 12-13, 2018. If none of the candidates won an absolute majority of the vote in it, the second round would follow two weeks later.

The poll shows that primarily the elderly over 65 support Zeman. If only these voters took part in the election, he would win in the first round at once. Besides, Zeman is preferred by voters with low education, LN writes.

On the contrary, Drahos is mainly supported by young people, often students, as well as university graduates, and Horacek is the favourite among younger middle-aged voters and secondary-school graduates.

As far as gender is concerned, Horacek can strongly rely on women’s support, while men tend to prefer Drahos and Zeman, LN writes.

However, the candidates, addressed by LN, stress that they would like to address all voter groups regardless of their age, gender and education in the campaign, while Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek only reiterated that “the president decided not to run any campaign at all.”

Commenting on a possible result of the second election round, Herzmann said the profile of Zeman’s rival candidate would be decisive in the runoff vote. “The more anti-Zeman oriented the candidate is, the weaker rival he will be for Milos Zeman,” Hermann told LN.

It seems that both Drahos and Horacek follow this “golden rule” as in their statements, they are trying not to look like typical ambassadors of the group of Zeman’s strong opponents, mainly intellectuals, dubbed “the Prague cafe” by him, LN writes.

It also says Zeman is the presidential election favourite in other opinion polls as well.

A CVVM poll, released on Tuesday, shows that 31 percent would vote for Zeman, 18 percent for Drahos and 14 percent for Horacek.

Yet Herzmann points out that the situation may change in the months to come since the final group of presidential candidates is not known yet and it cannot be ruled out that some distinctive personality would decide to run in the contest as well.

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