published: 20.02.2013, 13:21 | updated: 20.02.2013 13:35:29
Prague - The Czech TOP 09 party significantly improved its position after the presidential race in which its leader Karel Schwarzenberg ran and outstripped the Civic Democrats (ODS) in popularity, according to a poll conducted by the polling agency STEM in February and released today.
Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg unexpectedly advanced to the January second round of the presidential race in which he was beaten by leftist candidate Milos Zeman.
The conservative TOP 09, a member of the three-party centre-right coalition, would now finish second in general elections. It has outstripped not only the senior ruling ODS, but also Communists.
The ODS poll ratings fell to a record low since 1998.
The next regular general election is scheduled for mid-2014.
Zeman's SPOZ represented in the Senate would now also cross the five-percent threshold necessary to enter the Chamber of Deputies.
The opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) are preferred by 28.2 percent of Czechs, followed by TOP 09 with 14.2 percent, the ODS with 11.6 percent, Communists (KSCM) with 11.3 percent and the SPOZ with 5.2 percent.
The Christian Democrats would now finish closely under the parliamentary threshold.
As the sample includes undecided voters and those who are not ready to disclose their party preferences or to vote, the poll ratings are smaller than the real election result would be.
The margin of error is 2-3 percent.
If converted into mandates, the CSSD would receive 83 seats in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies, TOP 09 42 , the ODS 35, the KSCM 33 and the SPOZ seven.
The poll was conducted on a sample of 1,000 Czechs over 18 on February 4-11.
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