Opposition has a chance to lead the new government in Slovakia after the parliamentary election

Slovak parliamentary elections are scheduled for February 29, 2020 and might bring significant shifts in the government coalition, which is currently led by Direction – Social Democracy (Smer-SD) and includes the right Slovak National Party (SNS) and hungarian minority party Most-Hid (MH). The positions of the parties in power have been significantly weakened by the two major events that took place in the recent years: the murder of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée resulting in massive anti-government protests, and Zuzana Čaputová, the opposition candidate from the Progressive Slovakia party (PS), winning presidential elections in March of 2019.

Moreover, the 4 four opposition parties, the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the Progressive Slovakia-Together coalition (PS+SPOLU) and the centrist For the People party (ZL), have started cooperating and joined a non-aggression pact. Participation in the pact implies that cooperation with the current government coalition is excluded and the parties declare their intentions to find common ground in policy-related issues.

Another constraint in coalition formation concerns the ultra-right People’s Party – Our Slovakia (LSNS): nearly all other parties exclude the opportunity to cooperate with it within one government coalition. Based on these constraints and the poll data provided by Focus-Research dated 10-14th of January, we present our forecast of government formation in Slovakia after the parliamentary elections in 2020.

Constraints in coalition formation
Projected seats vs. strategic influence of political parties
Predicted government coalition

Based on the information available at this moment, we do not see much opportunity for the current government coalition to stay in power. This time the 4 opposition parties, SaS, KDH, PS+SPOLU and ZL, have a chance to form a government. However, to obtain the majority in parliament, they would still need to secure support of other parties, the center-right Ordinary People and right-oriented We are Family parties. Under this scenario, the Progressive Slovakia-Together coalition has potential to lead the new government, taking into account its recent success in the presidential elections. As for the power distribution, we expect it to be very egalitarian, as all six parties are needed to form the parliamentary majority.