Doubt And Confusion At The Ballot Box

How Has Covid-19 Influenced The Attitudes Of The Electorate And What Consequences Could It Have On The Upcoming Elections?

The confirming of the right centrism of the ideological spectrum was finalised during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the atomising of the remaining political space continued. This diffuse pressure has not expressed itself in articulated opposition options with the possibility of further reducing voter turnout or increasing the uncertainty of the outcome of the Belgrade elections in the case that abstainers decide to return to the polls.

Although there is currently no (publicly announced) public opinion research on the attitudes of the electorate, it seems that SNS, as the mainstay of the government, didn’t make a large number of mistakes during the pandemic that would come at the cost of major changes within the electorate. However, the dissatisfaction created in that part of the electorate that doesn’t traditionally vote for SNS has not been articulated through any of the existing opposition options. In short, as one of our interlocutors summarises, “along with the fear of COVID-19, the opposition boycott deepened abstention among citizens.”

Nevertheless, if these voters show up to vote in the upcoming elections it could create certain changes in the results of elections in Belgrade and, to some extent, the possibility of the presidential elections requiring two rounds. Before making any forecasts, it should be noted that the timing of the regular presidential elections, elections for the City of Belgrade and early parliamentary elections remains unclear. There is a possibility that the planned early parliamentary elections will be abandoned or held in a different period in relation to regular elections. Although it seems that, in the short term, COVID-19 left the political scene more or less intact, a question remains over the mistrust and fear that developed during this lasting pandemic. It could lead the electorate, in the period ahead, to replace an unwanted choice in search of a new saviour.

Bojan Vranić Ph.d., Associate Professor Of The Faculty Of Political Science

Awaiting Voters

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Jasmina Lukač, Journalist Of Danas And Demostat

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Saša Adamović, Historian And Political Analyst

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Zoran Sekulić, Director And Editor-in-chief Of News Agency Fonet

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