Kantar Media polls
Nicusor Dan, the president of Union Save Romania (USR), announced on Wednesday the results of a Kantar Media opinion poll which put his party on the second position in voters’ preferences, with 19%, behind PSD (40%) but before PNL (18%).
The reliability of the poll is under question as it only surveyed the people that are certain to vote on December 11th and know exactly who will they vote for (55% of the total). The poll excluded the undecided voters. USR has been releasing several such rather incomplete opinion polls for the last couple of months. These surveys are taken literally in the media, therefore they are not sociologically representative.
What is USR’s strategic motivation to publish these opinion polls? This is the best way to boost them when compared to PNL, their main “rival” for the votes of the center-right undecided electorate. It also engages the anti-PSD electorate and helps increase the presence to vote. USR has weak structures and difficulties in bringing people with the help of local party branches.
We remind that Avangarde and CCSB pollsters had published results that had shown PSD at 38-40%, PNL at 26%, USR 11-12%, ALDE, PMP and UDMR around 5%.
CCSB Opinion Poll
CCSB pollster has announced on November 19th the results of the latest opinion poll it conducted. The results should be read with some reserves as CCSB’s director is Mirel Palada, the spokesman of PRU (United Romania Party – a party which is considered to be nationalistic, very close to PSD deputy and ex-Prime Minister Victor Ponta). Also the entity, which paid for poll is The Liberal Romania Initiative (IRL), a “political club” of which founders include current PSD candidate Diana Tusa.
However, the poll’s findings seem to confirm what other surveys had shown before, with other interesting findings as well:
· The center-right camp (PNL, USR and most probably UDMR and PMP) has a slight combined advantage (about 47%) over the center-left (PSD and ALDE), who is at about 46%.
· The problem for the center-right is that PSD’s numbers, after redistribution of the scores for the parties that will not pass the 5% electoral threshold, would increase the most because it is the single largest party so it would be easier to lead the Government.
· Newcomer USR has consolidated its score as Romania’s third-largest party and has the biggest potential to increase its score in the final weeks of the campaign.
· PNL is slowly sliding in the polls. Even if the 26% are below its real score, another comparison with surveys that were released recently by other companies shows that it is constantly falling behind its main rival PSD.
· There are two parties of which presence in the next Parliament is in danger: PMP and ALDE, both at 5%. If PMP fails to enter the Parliament, PSD will probably be advantaged. If ALDE fails, PSD will have serious problems in forming the next Government.
· These numbers do not include the vote of the Romanians abroad, an element that could affect the balance in a race where every percent matters.
November Opinion Poll
The results published by Avangarde, although they should be taken with reservation, show interesting things:
· The difference between the two camps (PSD-ALDE and PNL-USR) is very small, about 5%, so the other 2 parties that might enter the Parliament, UDMR and PMP, will actually decide the winner at these results.
· PNL, although its score decreased in the last couple of months, is favored by the rise of its potential ally USR and the fact that President Klaus Iohannis will play a very important role if no alliance reaches 50% of the mandates.
· The current picture slightly favors a Ciolos 2 Government, as the total score of the right-leaning parties (PNL, USR, UDMR, PMP) is bigger that the score of the left-leaning parties (PSD and ALDE). Plus, when a Prime Minister is nominated, an alliance is created around him, like in 2004 or 2009. However, it is too early to predict such an outcome based solely on this data as a few percent change would change the results.
Two factors not shown in this polls could help a camp or another. The first is the redistribution of votes from the parties that would not pass the 5% electoral threshold to enter the Parliament. The bigger it is, the more if drags up PSD’s score (surely the party that will get the highest score). The other factor is the vote of the Romanians abroad. If it reaches a few hundred thousands, it will favor PNL and USR an increase their total score.