Similarly, to previous Romanian national elections, this year I also decided to collect and visualize the public opinion polls conducted in the run up to the next parliamentary elections in December 2020. The post below shortly presents an overview of all national polls since January 2017, except the ones conducted in the context of the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections. For now, it’s just a list of bullet-points to help interpret the figures.
These are the six most recent polls:
- among larger parties:
- gradual decline of PSD’s popularity after the 2016 elections. The decline reaches its lowest point around 22 percent before the Presidential Elections in November 2019.
- initially, PNL can not benefit from the loss of PSD voters, but the party’s popularity picks up as Iohannis’ re-election campaign takes off before the 2019 Presidential Elections.
- gradual increase in the popularity of USR-PLUS, up until the 2019 Presidential Elections. Note that sometimes USR and PLUS were asked as a coalition, sometimes separately. The two parties contest in a coalition the 2020 parliamentary elections. To construct the trend line, I added together their popularity in surveys when asked separately.
- among the smaller parties:
- loss of ALDE’s popularity, especially since the beginning of 2019.
- increase in the popularity of Pro Romania, up until it becomes a party of 7-10 percentage points.
- relative stable support for PMP and UDMR.
Since the 2019 Presidential Elections
Zooming in on larger parties
- remarkable stability in the popularity of all three major formations: PSD, PNL, USR-PLUS.
- the Covid-19 crisis was not a rupture in the popularity of the governing PNL neither in a negative nor in a positive direction. The party lost some of its voters, but the decline was gradual, and the party’s popularity seems to have stabilized during the summer.
- USR-PLUS did not capitalize on the loss of PNL voters.
- the disappearance of Dăncilă and the election of Ciolacu as party president did not (yet) affect PSD’s popularity.
Zooming in on smaller parties
- generally: a lot more volatility than in the popularity of larger formations.
- Pro Romania’s popularity is quickly rising since the summer.
- PMP and ALDE are in decline since the summer, to the point that in most polls ALDE is unlikely to pass the five percent threshold (dotted line).
- UDMR is remarkably stable, but it is unclear to what extent can national polls predict fluctuations in its support.
Are polls accurate?
- the short answer is that it depends, but in past elections, they performed relatively well, despite non-transparent methods and some previously unknown companies releasing estimates.
- for the long answer see this text.