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Zeman would gain 42, Drahoš 31 % in presidential polls now

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Prague, Nov 19 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman, who seeks re-election in January, would gain 41.5 percent of the vote if the election were held now, followed by former Science Academy head Jiri Drahos with 30.5 percent and lyricist Michal Horacek with 16.5 percent, according to a poll released by Czech Television.

The other candidates lag far behind the three, former Civic Democrat (ODS) PM Mirek Topolanek finishing fourth with 4-percent support, the poll which the TNS Kantar and Median agencies completed for Czech Television.

“Milos Zeman is prevailingly supported by elderly voters, mainly those over 60, and by voters in the countryside and small towns, and also by those with lower education. Just the opposite goes for Drahos,” TNS Kantar’s analyst Pavel Ranoch said.

Out of individual political parties’ supporters, the fans of ANO, the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) and the Communists (KSCM) would clearly support Zeman.

“Among these voters, Zeman would win [presidency] straight in the first round [of the two-round direct presidential election],” Ranoch said.

Drahos would be preferred by voters of TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents (STAN), the Civic Democrats (ODS), the Pirates and narrowly also the Social Democrats (CSSD).

When it comes to the election potential, or the share of voters who are seriously considering supporting a chosen candidate, Zeman’s potential is 45 percent, Drahos’s 40.5 percent and Horacek’s 28.5 percent.

On the other hand, Zeman is viewed as unacceptable by 45 percent, Drahos by 15 percent and Horacek by 37 percent of Czechs, the poll showed.

From this point of view, the election potential of Topolanek is the worst of all, as 73 percent of the respondents called him unacceptable.

“Milos Zeman has actually exploited almost the whole of his election potential and it will be quite difficult for him to attract some more voters, since he is totally unacceptable for almost a half of the population. In this respect, he really divides the society into two similarly large camps,” Ranoch said.

Drahos, on his part, may win over a considerable number of new supporters in the weeks to come, because about one third of Czechs still do not know him.

The poll was conducted on 1,500 people on November 11-15.

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