Opposition poll shows Romanian ruling party tumbling down

Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) has been steadily going down in the voters’ preferences in recent months while opposition parties have been going up, according to a new opinion poll made by local research institute IMAS at the request of opposition party Save Romania Union (USR).

Only 28.6% of the participants to this IMAS survey, which took place in February, said they would vote for PSD, down from 29.4% in January and 32.4% in December last year.

PSD won the parliamentary elections in December 2016 with a score of 45.5%. A series of broken electoral promises and the assault on justice have led to PSD’s fall in the polls, according to USR representatives.

Meanwhile, the National Liberal Party (PNL), the biggest opposition party, appears to have surpassed PSD in the voters’ preferences, reaching a share of 29.4% in the vote intentions. In December 2016, PNL only got 20% of the votes.

USR, the second opposition party, also went up from 8.9% in December 2016 to 11.2% in February 2018. PSD’s junior coalition partner ALDE, led by former prime minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, has also almost doubled its quota, from 5.6% in the December 2016 elections to 10.6% in the February 2018 poll.

Over 1,000 people participated in this poll, which has a margin for error of +/-3.1%.

PSD leader Liviu Dragnea commented the poll results in an ironic tone. “I think that PSD is already under 10% and PNL has 51%, it’s growing like Prince Charming,” he said, adding that it’s no coincidence this poll appeared just two days before PSD’s extraordinary congress.

The ruling party’s delegates will elect the party’s executive president (number two in the leadership hierarchy) and the vice presidents on Saturday, March 10. The internal elections have upset some of the party’s leaders, who see this as an attempt by Dragnea to get rid of any possible opponents at the top of the party. Prime minister Viorica Dancila, who is loyal to Dragnea, will likely be PSD’s new executive president.

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