>Czech Republic: polls show Greens are new kingmakers

>Current CVVM polling shows the Civic Democrats still riding very high in the polls (projected 37% in an election excluding non-voters – down from projected 41% in November). The Social Democrats have slumped to a projected 24-25% as the Communists seem to have eaten in to their support. The Christian Democrats had a brief bounce in November going up to projected 11% reflecting the popularity of their new leader before he was hit by accusations of accepting a half million crown bribe when mayor of the small town of Vsetín (return of a loan he says – odd they delivered it in cash in a brown envelope, however), but are now down to their more typical 8 per cent. The real party to watch, however, are the eco-liberal Greens on a projected 11%. The numbers suggests that – if they can stay united – they are the new pivotal party in Czech politics. Indeed, on some calculations of likely seats on current polling they could (just) form a two party majority with the Civic Democrats, depriving the Christian Democrats (in office in the Czech Republic with various partners from 1990-2, 1992-8 and 2002- date – that is twelve of the past sixteen years (since the fall of communism (75% of the time). The next most successful Czech party, the Social Democrats, have clocked up a only eight years in office (1998-2006 – 50% of the period) and the Civic Democrats were in government for a mere five (1992-7, 31%). If the current government serves a full term until 2010 that would rise to 43% (9 years out of 21).

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