A poll conducted by the IPIS rating agency shows that VMRO-DPMNE has nearly a double lead over its main rival SDSM. According to the poll, if elections were held next week, 20.3 percent of all citizens would vote for VMRO, and just 11.3 percent opted for SDSM.
This is the latest in a line of polls, conducted over months, showing that SDSM’s popularity has collapsed and the party trails VMRO with a 2:1 ratio, or even more. SDSM is unlikely to be helped by its main partner DUI, who is being seen as the stronger partner in the Government. Ali Ahmeti and Artan Grubi’s party polls at 5.6 percent, meaning that even a pre-election coalition between the two would not save SDSM – assuming that the two ratings combine with no loss of voters.
The third coalition partner, the Alliance of Albanians, adds just 2 percent of the votes, showing that it is losing support after switching sides and moving from the opposition to the Government. Albanian opposition parties: BESA, Alternative and Democratic Movement, who are planning a pre-election coalition, poll at 2.3, 1.8 and 1 percent respectively, which should be enough for them to rival DUI in the elections.
Populist Levica, which draws votes both from SDSM but also, probably more, from VMRO, polls at 3.5 percent. The recently formed ZNAM movement, around Kumanovo Mayor Maksim Dimitrievski who left SDSM over disagreements with their policies of appeasement of Bulgaria, polls at 2.9 percent.
The poll also showed that VMRO leader Hristijan Mickoski has twice the support of SDSM leader and Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski – the ratio is 11.6 percent against 5.6 percent. DUI leader Ahmeti surpassed Kovacevski in the poll, receiving the support of 6.1 percent of all voters. Kovacevski is losing support to his predecessor Zoran Zaev (1.8%), Maksim Dimitrievski (3.9%) and President Stevo Pendarovski (2.3%). The poll includes former Prime Minister and VMRO leader Nikola Gruevski, who polls at 3.7% and other former and current party leaders.
On another burning issue – whether the presidential and general elections that should take place in 2024 should be held together to save expenses given the distance of just a few months between them, or separately (which SDSM believes would help their chances), a large majority of citizens believes that it’s logical to hold them together. This was the response of 66.6 percent of citizens, and only 13.7 percent said they oppose this idea. Even a large majority of SDSM supporters believe the same.
The poll was conducted by phone, between October 25th and 27th, with 1,055 citizens.
Previous polls, such as that conducted by Market Vision for MKD.mk in June, showed that VMRO leads SDSM by a similar margin of 22 to 11.5 percent.