The next Czech President will probably be the guy who signed a “scientists against fear and hatred” in response to Zeman’s “Islamophobia” and expressed concern about Russian elections hacking.
Not only did the tipsy, politically incorrect Zeman underperform his poll numbers by around 4% points in the first round of the elections, but current polls are giving Drahoš a 5%-10% lead over Zeman.
However, I have heard that he is a good debater when he is sober, so he still has chances if he makes a good showing (he refused to participate in debates during the first round).
In the first round, Zeman got 38.6% to Drahoš’ 26.6%. Drahoš will get virtually all of Fischer’s and Hilšer’s electorate, which should bring him to 45%, and a substantial share of Horáček’s will probably eke him out a win, assuming there are no further major underlying shifts in support levels.
All the main candidates (except Hannig, who only got 0.6%) have expressed their support for Drahoš’.
Zeman has a 39% chance according to kdovyhrajevolby.cz.
Currently 26% on PredictIt. (Might be worth buying a few shares if you are fluent in Czech politics and consider this discrepancy real).
Its fascinating how politics literally everywhere in Europe and the US breaks down along the same basic basic schema.
- Zeman is Trump, Le Pen, Putin: Populist, pro-Russian, anti-Islamist, fluent in blue-collar slang but not all that intellectual. Wins the regions and the countryside in the first round.
- Drahoš is Merkel, Macron, Tony Blair: Big Brain academic, pro-European, Atlanticist, centrist. Wins Prague, overwhelmingly wins the foreign vote. For instance, in the UK, Drahoš got twice as many votes as he did in Czechia, while Zeman only got 3.2% (!).
The President is relatively more important in Czechia than in the other V4 countries, but he is still superseded by the Prime Minister, so this likely won’t translate into immediate major changes in policy, including on refugees.
But it might be a bellwether of future trends.