Slovenian presidential election, 2017

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Slovenian presidential election, 2017
Slovenia
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12 November 2017 (second round)
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  Borut Pahor 2010-10-08.jpg Marjan Šarec in Logatec 2017.jpg
Nominee Borut Pahor Marjan Šarec
Party Independent LMŠ
Popular vote 373,877 332,366
Percentage 52.94% 47.06%

President before election

Borut Pahor
SD

Elected President

Borut Pahor
Independent

Coat of arms of Slovenia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Slovenia

Presidential elections were held in Slovenia on 22 October 2017. Nine candidates ran in the elections, including the incumbent President of Slovenia Borut Pahor. No candidate received a majority of the vote, resulting in a run-off between Pahor and Marjan Šarec that was held on 12 November 2017.[1] Pahor won the run-off with roughly 53% of the vote,[2] while the voter turnout was the lowest in any presidential election since independence.[3]

Electoral system

The President of Slovenia is elected using the two-round system; if no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round, the top two candidates contest a runoff.[4]

Under Slovenian Election Law, candidates for president are required to meet one of three criteria:

  • The support of ten members of the National Assembly
  • The support of one or more political parties and either three members of the National Assembly or signatures from 3,000 voters
  • Signatures from 5,000 voters

Each political party can support only one candidate.

Candidates

Borut Pahor

The incumbent president Borut Pahor announced his intention to run for a second term in December 2016.[5] A member of Social Democrats, he later stated he intends to run as an independent candidate.[6] Pahor was seen from June as a clear frontrunner to win the election.[7]

Marjan Šarec

Marjan Šarec, the mayor of Kamnik, announced his candidacy in May. He had previously served two terms as mayor after a career as an actor and comedian. During his acting career, he imitated several famous people, including the second president of Slovenia, Janez Drnovšek.[8] Nevertheless, Šarec stated his candidacy would be completely serious, as he took a break from his stage personas when he was elected mayor.[9] Criticizing Pahor for treating the presidential function as a celebrity, Šarec was viewed as a potentially strong candidate.[10] Backed by his party Lista Marjana Šarca - Naprej Kamnik, Šarec successfully collected the required 3,000 votes of support.[11]

Ljudmila Novak

In early August, Ljudmila Novak of New Slovenia announced her candidacy, as the first candidate supported by a major political party,[12] Novak officially submitted the candidacy on 8 September.[13] Novak served as the mayor of Moravče, got elected to the European Parliament in 2004 and led the party at the 2011 general election when the party returned to the National Assembly.[14]

Maja Makovec Brenčič

In September, the Modern Centre Party announced that their candidate would be Maja Makovec Brenčič, the minister of education, science, and sport.[15] Before entering the politics, Makovec Brenčič was a professor at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana.[14]

Romana Tomc

The Slovenian Democratic Party announced the member of European Parliament Romana Tomc as their candidate.[16] Tomc was also elected to the National Assembly in the 2011 election and was the vice-president of the Assembly.[14]

Boris Popovič

Boris Popovič, mayor of Koper, was backed by his party Slovenia Forever.[17] Prior to the presidential election, Popovič served three terms as a mayor. He was involved in several legal cases.[14]

Angelca Likovič

Angelca Likovič was backed by the party Voice for Children and Families.[18] Prior to retirement, Likovič was a teacher and the headmistress of an elementary school in Ljubljana. Likovič is also known as a prominent opponent of the same-sex marriage law in the 2015 referendum and as a comentator in various reality shows.[14]

Andrej Šiško

Andrej Šiško was backed by the party United Slovenia.[19] A former member of Slovenian Territorial Defence, Šiško was also the leader of the ultras group Viole, supporters of NK Maribor. He was convicted to a year and ten months in prison.[14]

Suzana Lara Krause

Suzana Lara Krause was backed by Slovenian People's Party.[20] Krause graduated as a teacher of Slovenian and Russian languages, is self-employed and was not widely known in Slovenian politics prior to the election.[21]

Failed or withdrawn

Milan Jazbec, Slovenian Ambassador to Macedonia, announced already in April that he would run as an independent candidate.[22] Jazbec stated that his decision was based on a promise to the late Slovenian statesman France Bučar, that he would become actively involved with national politics.[7] Due to lack of support, Jazbec dropped out of the race in September.[23]

Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti, a former member of the National Assembly and the president of the far right Slovenian National Party, announced he would run for office for the third time.[24] Jelinčič previously ran in the 2002 election, where he finished 3rd with 8.49 % of the vote,[25] and in the 2007 election, where he finished fourth—but with a significantly higher vote share, at 19.16%.[26]

Some people announced their candidacies with support of non-parliamentary political parties, including sociologost Luj Šprohar (backed by Liberal Democracy of Slovenia).[27]

Other people that announced their intention to run for office, including Milan Robič, Jožef Jarh, Ludvik Poljanec, Aleš Cepič, a comedian Žiga Papež, singers Damjan Murko and Dominik Kozarič, poet, dramatist, and actor Andrej Rozman-Roza,[10] and sociologist Valerija Korošec.[17]

First round

The first round of the election was marked by the lowest voter turnout in a presidential election since 1992, at 43.6%.[28] Despite most opinion polls predicting Pahor's victory in the first round (also, the exit polls predicted Pahor winning over 56% of the vote)[29] Pahor only won 47.3%, resulting in the run-off against the second-placed Šarec. In his first reaction, Pahor called his result "encouraging given the general distrust in politics".[30] Šarec stated he was happy with the result and with the fact that he made it to the run-off, he expressed hope that it will be possible to discuss topics that were not addressed in the first round campaign.[31]

In the reactions to the results, media noticed that Pahor's failure to secure the victory in the first round was likely linked to the low turnout, the campaign was seen as "boring", foreign media also commented on Šarec's background as an actor.[32] Commentators noticed that Tomc got almost twice as many votes as Novak, which some viewed as a victory of SDS over NSi. However, the candidates of the right-wing parties failed to more than a fifth of the vote, drawing comparison with Barbara Brezigar (SDS) who made it to the run-off in the 2002 election.[33] SDS viewed the result of Tomc as a success, given the late start of the campaign and the fact that she won more vote than the opinion polls predicted,[34] while Janez Janša stated that there are no major differences between Pahor and Šarec anyway.[33] The bad result of the SMC candidate, Makovec Brenčič, was seen as a major blow to the largest party in the government and a warning before the 2018 general election.[35] Šiško's result was seen as a surprise, as he ran as an anti-establishment candidate and even placed fourth in Maribor electoral unit.[30] The result of Likovič that finished last was seen as an indication that there is little actual support for ZaO party outside the referendum campaigns.[36]

Second round

Pahor won the second round with roughly 53% of the vote. The voter turnout was even lower than in the first round, at 41.7%.[2][37] Pahor won in six electoral units while Šarec won in Kranj and Ljubljana Bežigrad.[3] Šarec quickly conceded and congratulated Pahor.[38]

In his first reaction, Pahor acknowledged that many votes he received in the 2012 election as votes against the incumbent president Danilo Türk while this time people who voted for him did so in support of his activities. He pledged to be more vocal in the next term but will continue to avoid divisions between the left- and right-side parties.[37] Pahor's head of campaign saw the high percent that Šarec won as a result of the election turning out to be a "referendum against Pahor".[39]

Šarec expressed his satisfaction with the result, stating that it represents the desire of the people for a change, which should be a clear message to established politicians—as he ran as a grassroots candidate representing the younger generation. After being asked whether he plans to continue to carry on the political momentum into the upcoming general election in 2018, he refused to make commitments, although he said that several people had already asked him to run.[37]

Miro Cerar, the Prime Minister, whose SMC endorsed none of the candidates,[40] and Milan Brglez, the Speaker of the National Assembly, both congratulated Pahor, as did the presidents of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen and Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.[37] Janez Janša of SDS also send congratulations but warned of the low voter turnout, which was "below the legitimate level".[41]

Opinion polls

Hypothetical polling (– 28 September 2017)

Date(s) Pollster Sample

size

Pahor

Ind

Šarec

LMŠ

Novak

NSi

Jelinčič Jazbec Rozman Murko Tomc

SDS

Brenčič

SMC

Popovič

SJN

Likovič

ZaO

Krause

SLS

22 Sep State Election Commission deadline to submit candidacy applications for review and confirmation
23 Sep Mediana[42] 827 44.7% 17.2% 6.8% 1.5% 5.2% 1.2% 2.4% 2.4% 2.4%
15–17 Sep Valicon[43] 453 36.5% 24.4% 5.4% 5.0% 3.2%
11–13 Sep Parsifal[44] 450 50.2% 19.8% 4.2% 4.3% 1.3% 3.5% 3.5% 3.5%
31 Aug–7 Sep Episcenter[45] 1521 46.7% 18.5% 11.6% 2.8% 1.2%
16–18 Aug Episcenter[46][47] 450 37.2% 23.1% 10.6% 3.3% 3.2% 1.6% 1.3%
26–28 Jul Delo Stik[48] 722 36.5% 20.6% 5.2% 2.7% 1.1%
25 Jun Mediana[49] 1241 51.5% 24.8% 3.9%
19–20 Apr Delo[50] 1140 44% 10% 12%

First round (28 September 2017 – 22 October 2017)

Date(s) Pollster Sample

size

Pahor

Ind

Šarec

LMŠ

Novak

NSi

Tomc

SDS

Brenčič

SMC

Popovič

SJN

Likovič

ZaO

Šiško

ZSi

Krause

SLS

22 Oct Episcenter[51] 827 56.2% 22.5% 5.4% 10.5% 0.9% 0.8% 0.9% 1.9% 1.0%
22 Oct Mediana[51] 453 47.2% 20.4% 8.8% 15.2% 0.9% 2.6% 2.1% 2.2% 0.6%
Exit polls
14-16 Oct Ninamedia[52] 450 57.9% 22.7% 5.4% 8.1% 0.8% 2.4% 2.1% 0.1% 0.5%
5-13 Oct Episcenter[53] 1521 55.5% 21.2% 8.2% 7.8% 1.4% 1.2% 1.5% 2.5% 0.7%
5–7 Oct Ninamedia[54][55][56] 450 40.4% 14.9% 3.6% 5.5% 0.6% 1.0% 0.3% 1.3% 0.1%
2–6 Oct Parsifal[57] 722 31.5% 13.1% 3.0% 4.1% 1.1% 0.7% 0.3% 1.0% 0.1%
29 Sep–6 Oct Episcenter[58] 1241 31.2% 13.3% 4.9% 4.4% 1.2% 0.6% 0.5% 0.5% 0.2%
29 Sep–1 Oct Valicon[59] 1140 41.2% 22.0% 5.3% 5.4% 3.7% 3.6% 2.3% 1.7% 0.8%
28–29 Sep Delo Stik[60][61] 500 34.8% 22.7% 10.6% 9.9% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1%

Second round (23 October 2017 – 12 November 2017)

Date(s) Pollster Sample

size

Undecided Lead
Pahor

Ind

Šarec

LMŠ

10 November 2017 Mediana[62] 893 48,6% 44,5% 6,9% 4,1%
10 November 2017 Delo[63] 1025 56,3% 43,7% 0% 12,6%
9 November 2017 Dnevnik[64] 53% 47.0% 0% 6%
24-26 October 2017 Ninamedia[65][66] 700 51.2% 34.0% 14.8% 17,2%

Results

Winner vote share in the first and second round by locality.
Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Borut Pahor Independent 355,117 47.21 375,106 52.98
Marjan Šarec List of Marjan Šarec 186,235 24.76 332,871 47.02
Romana Tomc Slovenian Democratic Party 102,925 13.68
Ljudmila Novak New Slovenia 54,437 7.24
Andrej Šiško United Slovenia Movement 16,636 2.21
Boris Popovič Slovenia Forever 13,559 1.80
Maja Makovec Brenčič Modern Centre Party 13,052 1.74
Suzana Lara Krause Slovenian People's Party 5,885 0.78
Angelca Likovič Voice for Children and Families 4,418 0.59
Invalid/blank votes 5,634 8,849
Total 757,898 100 716,826 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,713,744 44.24 1,713,473 41.84
Source: Volitve (99.99% counted)

References

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