Poll: Babis Would Win First Round of Presidential Election, Pavel The Second Round

Petr Pavel would overtake Babis in the second round and win the presidency, according to current polling data. Credit: vlada.cz.

Prague, Aug 18 (CTK) – Ex-Prime Minister and opposition ANO leader Andrej Babis would win the first round of the Czech presidential election if held now, but in the second round run-off he would be defeated by Petr Pavel, former Czech Army chief-of-staff and head of the NATO Military Committee, according to the latest election model from the Median agency.

In the first round, senator Marek Hilser and former Mendel University rector Danuse Nerudova would finish third.

Support for Babis and Pavel in the first round remains the same as in Median’s previous election model. Babis would take 25.5 percent of the vote and Pavel 21 percent.

Pavel, nevertheless, has a slightly higher election potential. He would be supported by up to 34.4 percent of those who are considering voting for him and are not ruling out voting in the elections. Babis’s election potential is 33.5 percent.

In the second round, which is a head-to-head between the top two candidates from the first round, Pavel would probably defeat Babis smoothly. Based on the current polling data, he would win 59.5 percent of the vote from decided voters, compared with Babis’s 40.5 percent.

A large proportion of those polled – about a quarter – are still unsure who to support in the second round. According to Median, this means it is too early to draw clear conclusions about who the winner of the presidential race will be.

In the latest model, Babis and Pavel kept their positions as the most preferred candidates, but there is a tight pack behind them for third; Hilser, Nerudova, CMKOS union leader Josef Stredula, senator Pavel Fischer, and former lower house chairwoman Miroslava Nemcova are all polling between 7.5% and 5.5%, within the margin of error.

Billionaire Karel Janecek lags behind with 3.5 percent, former Energy Regulation Office head Alena Vitaskova and former president Vaclav Klaus have 3 percent each, and High Prosecutor Lenka Bradacova has 1.5 percent.

Some of these potential candidates, including Pavel and Babis, have not yet officially announced their presidential ambitions. Babis said he wants to announce his decision shortly before the 8 November deadline. Pavel plans to do so in early September. Hilser, Nerudova and Stredula have confirmed their plans to run for president, as have Janecek and Vitaskova. Fischer, Nemcova, Klaus and Bradacova have not ruled out their candidacy.

To register on the ballot, candidates must submit signatures of at least 50,000 people or at least 20 deputies or ten senators.

The first round of the presidential election is scheduled for 13-14 January 2023.

The poll showed that 62.5 percent of those surveyed plan to vote, a turnout similar to the 62% who voted in the first round of the previous presidential election in 2018.

Median conducted the poll on 1,002 people from June 24 to August 5.

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