Nečas, who won power in May 2010, lead a conservative coalition for three years until the scandal forced him to resign, seeing the dissolving of his government. Legislative elections were scheduled after a following caretaker government failed to win a vote of confidence. The elections come almost eight months early.
After the results came in Nečas’ centre-right Civil Democratic Party went from second place in 2010 to fifth, whilst the fiscal-right Traditional Responsibility Partners 09 Party (TOP 09), the other party in the coalition, came fourth, securing 7.72% and 11.99% of the vote respectively. The centre-left Social Democratic Party gained the largest share of the vote, securing 20.45%.
Many used their chance to vote in the election as a form of protest. The newly established Action of Dissatisfied Citizens, came second, gaining 47 seats, only three less than the Social Democrats. The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) came third, gaining 33. The turnout was only 59.5%.
The Social Democrats had hoped to win enough to govern the country alone, running what seemed to be a popular campaign against the previous government’s austerity policies. They were thus disappointed with the result at only 20%, having in fact lost votes since 2010. Bohuslav Sobotka, leader of the Social Democrats, admitted the results were“not what we expected”, but told reporters he was prepared to sit down with all parties.
Despite talks with the Communists making a coalition look more likely, both parties, if working together, would still not have enough seats to govern effectively.
Whilst talks are still ongoing, many have concluded that the real winners of the election were the Action of Dissatisfied Citizens. The newly formed centrist party ran an anti-corruption campaign. Analysts have argued that the party was able to draw in voters who had grown weary of the state of affairs in Czech politics.
The party’s leader, agriculture billionaire Adrej Babiš,said he was not keen to sit down with Sobotka and the Social Democrats. But after two weeks of talks and no resulting government, it is looking increasingly probable that Babiš will consider it. Some have come to see him as the king-maker of this election.
As a potential government is still in the making, many Czechs are losing faith in their representatives. A recent world survey by corruption watchdog Transparency International ranked the Czech Republic as one of the more corrupt countries in the world, topping both UAE and Rwanda.
With no current governing coalition agreed, talks are predicted to last until at least the start of December, leaving the current technocrat Cabinet in place until a new government is agreed.