Commentary V4

Klaus Jr.’s chances seen as real

Tomio Okamura’s SPD and the new party founded by Václav Klaus Jr., the Tricolor movement share the same voter basis.

Klaus Jr. will announce the mission of his new party next Monday. Many wonder about the movement’s prospects. 

Sociologist Jan Herzmann says that the Tricolor movement is difficult to position. “It depends on whether they will participate in the regional or the Senate elections. Without a manifesto or a list of candidates, the results are impossible to predict,” Herzmann said. 

Petr Mach, a former leader of the Free Citizen’s Party, is more skeptical. “New parties tend to perform worse in the regional elections, because voters are more familiar and trusting of established parties with a long tradition behind them,” Mach statedsaid. 

The Tricolor faces a number of obstacles in the Senate elections as well. “Klaus Jr. is a charismatic politician with his own supporters and opponents. As a divisive public figure, he might face difficulties in the Senate elections. The two-round system tends to be unfair on those in the extremes,” stated Karel Komínek, an analyst from the Institute of Political Marketing.

The Tricolor, however, may have  has strong chances of gaining seats in the Chamber of Deputies. According to Herzman, Klaus will have to compete with the Tomio Okamura-led SPD, the party known for its radical attitude towards migration, Muslims and the EU. Tricolor might succeed, but naturally, they’ll have to win votes from the base of another party, or by means of mobilising citizens who were previously apathetic, inactive voters. In the foreseeable future, the party is unlikely to take more than 10 percent of the votes, said Pavel Šaradín, political scientist and advisor to  Social Democrat Chairman Jan Hamáček.

"Klaus can reach ten percent at most," argues political analyst Pavel Ranocha. Karel Komínek predicts similar results. "Tricolor is now a part of the oversaturated market. I think that the movement may reach a 5 percent threshold at most,” Komínek added.

When Václav Klaus Jr. was still a member of the Civic Democrats (ODS), he was seen by voters as the best-known and highest-trusted figure in the ODS. 

According to a survey published in April, 22 percent would be inclined to vote for the new party, attracting a significant portion of SPD supporters (29 percent), the ANO Movement (23 percent) and the Communists (21 percent).

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