Slovakia's SMER party holds lead before Sept. 30 election -poll

(Reuters) - Slovak opposition party SMER-SSD, led by former prime minister Robert Fico, slightly increased its lead over its liberal challenger Progresivne Slovensko before a Sept. 30 election, according to IPSOS agency's latest poll, published on Thursday.

The poll, conducted for news website among 1,026 participants between Sept. 15 and 19, put support for SMER-SDD at 20.3% to 17.2% for Progresivne Slovensko (Progressive Slovakia), showing SMER-SSD's lead widened by 0.3 percentage points from the previous survey in August.

The election is being held early after the centre-right coalition collapsed and a caretaker government took over in May. Illegal migration and the war in neighbouring Ukraine have polarised Slovak society in the run-up to the vote.

Fico is a former prime minister who quit in 2018 in the wake of the murder of a journalist that spurred mass protests, and is seeking power again with pledges to defend national interests, end military support for Ukraine, and oppose any sanctions on Russia that could hurt Slovakia.

The Progressive Slovakia party's leader, Michal Simecka, has warned the change could push Slovakia into isolation, and he has promised to maintain support for Ukraine as it fights a Russian invasion, in line with EU and NATO partners.

The IPSOS poll showed no party is expected to win a majority and eight parties could win seats, from liberal to pro-Russian nationalists.

The poll put the HLAS (Voice) party led by former prime minister and SMER member Peter Pellegrini in a solid third place. Pellegrini has not indicated which way he could lean in coalition building after the September vote.

* Click here for an interactive graphic:


Slovensko coalition RODINA

September 2023 20.3 13.1 17.2 6.1 8.2 8.6 5.3 4.2 5.6 3.4

August 19.7 13.3 16.9 5.7 7.7 7.9 6.2 5.5 5.1 2.9

July/August 20.3 13.4 16.9 6.7 7.9 8.8 5.4 5.6 5.2 2.6

July 19.4 14.9 15.9 5 7.1 8.6 5.9 6.4 5 2.1

June 18.9 14.8 15.5 7.2 6.4 8.3 5.6 7.2 4.3 4

May 16.9 15.6 13.3 6.1 7 9.1 5.2 7.5 3.8 3.4

April 16.8 16.2 14.1 6.4 7 8.8 4.8 6.4 4.2 3.6

March 16.2 16 11.1 6.4 4.8 8.6 5.7 8.5 3

January 2023 13.6 18.2 12.6 6.9 8.1 8.1 6.5 8 2.9

November 15.6 19.7 10.4 7.8 8 6 7.4 7 2.6

NOTE: threshold for parties to win seats is 5% and 7% for coalitions

Party descriptions:

* SMER-SSD- Direction-Slovak Social Democracy (leftist party of three-time prime minister Robert Fico)

* HLAS- Voice (leftist party of former prime minister Peter Pellegrini who split from SMER)

* Progresivne Slovensko- Progressive Slovakia (liberal party)

* SaS-Sloboda a Solidarita- Freedom and Solidary (liberal former ruling party)

* OLANO- Ordinary People and Independent Personalities-OLANO (centrist, anti-graft former ruling party)

* Republika- Republic (far-right party)

* KDH- Christian Democrat Movement (Christian conservative party)

* SME RODINA- We Are Family (centrist former ruling party)

* SNS- Slovak National Party (nationalist party)

* DEMOKRATI- Democrats (centrist, pro-European party led by former prime minister Eduard Heger)

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet in Prague. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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