By Bojana Barlovac
As many as 37.3 per cent of eligible voters would vote for the opposition SNS in general elections, while 28.2 would vote for the ruling Democratic Party, DS, a recent poll suggests.
This results show support for the coalition led by the SNS has risen by 2.9 per cent, while the DS lost 0.9 per cent in support over the last two months.
The poll was carried out by research agency Factor Plus from March 22 until April 6 on a sample of 1,500 people.
Another poll commissioned by the DS and carried out by Strategic Marketing shows that SNS scored better than the ruling coalition, the opposition Radicals, SRS, and the Liberal-Democrats, LDP, put together.
Vladimir Pejic, the Factor Plus director, says the results show that apathy is high in Serbia.
“There is an apathy among citizens, indifference, and yet the desire for change because of what is happening – and as always, the first to suffer are those in power,” Pejic said.
He explains that the increasing difference in support between SNS and DS is affected, among other things, by the fact that the Progressives have already entered the pre-election campaign.
Belgrade is plastered with SNS posters, with the party intensifying its efforts every day with billboards and media appearances.
The Progressives have been pushing the government to call early elections since early this year, and recently warned that they would hold another protest rally on April 16, building on a previous gathering on February 5 that drew more than 50,000 people.
Serbia’s largest opposition party has asked the ruling coalition to call the polls for December 18, several months ahead of regular parliamentary elections, which must be held by spring 2012.
SNS leader Tomislav Nikolic told daily Vecernje Novosti on Monday that by December the government has time to complete all the tasks that it has planned. The government wants to put off elections until it secures EU candidacy status, which it has said it hopes to secure by autumn.
“Let’s say that December 18, 2011 is the last concession of the SNS. If there is no positive response, no understanding of what Serbia needs, there will be no more talks, then we will have to solve it another way,” Nikolic said, without elaborating.