Exit polls show the opposition leading in Slovenian elections


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LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Exit polls in Slovenia’s parliamentary vote Sunday suggested a strong lead for the opposition liberals over the ruling right-wing populists of Prime Minister Janez Jansa.

The Mediana polling station published the results of the polls and the Freedom Movement received 35.8% support, compared to the 22.5% for the ruling conservative Slovenian Democratic Party.

Following the top two candidates were New Slovenia party, with 6.8%, Social Democrats with 6.6%, and Left party with 4.4%.

The official results will confirm that the Freedom Movement, an emerging candidate in the election, has a greater chance of forming the next government with smaller center-left organizations. This is a blow to Jansa who was accused of pushing the country towards the right while he was in power.

Strong voter interest in the race, in the politically divided European Union nation, was reflected in the higher turnout.

Nearly 50% of Slovenia’s 1.7 million voters had cast ballots by mid-afternoon, according to state election authorities – up some 15% compared with the previous election in 2018.

According to surveys, no one party could form a government by itself. A coalition government that includes at least three to four parties will need to be formed after the vote.

It’s not clear which smaller groups will reach the threshold of 4% and what the final distribution for parliamentary seats will look. Election authorities must also add early votes to this tally.

“Today is an important day as these elections decide how Slovenia will develop not only in the next four years, but in the next decade,” Jansa said as he voted on Sunday. “Expectations are good.”

Jansa was appointed prime minister just two years after the resignation of the previous liberal premier. Jansa, a fan of Donald Trump’s former president, has led the country to the right ever since he took office at the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic.

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