A new opinion poll conducted by local agency IMAS for Europa FM radio station shows incumbent president Klaus Iohannis a clear favorite in the presidential race, with 45.7% of the intended vote, up from 45% in a similar poll IMAS conducted in September.
Once again, actor Mircea Diaconu (opening photo), who runs as an independent but with the backing of PRO Romania and ALDE, two of the smaller parties in the Parliament, comes second in the IMAS poll, with 16.7% of the intended vote (slightly up from 16.6% in September). This is surprising because Diaconu is in front of dismissed prime minister Viorica Dancila, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), and Dan Barna, the leader of Save Romania Union (USR) – the third-biggest political party in Romania, who is also supported by PLUS, the party of former prime minister Dacian Ciolos.
Dancila comes third in this poll, with a score of 15.1%, significantly up compared to September, when she was fourth, with 12.5%. Barna is now fourth, with 12.6%, down from 14.5% in September. By comparisson, Dancila's PSD has a score of 21.2% in the IMAS survey dedicated to political parties, and USR and PLUS, the two parties supporting Barna, have a combined score of 20.9%. The National Liberal Party (PNL), which supports president Iohannis in the presidential race, has a score of almost 30%.
Dan Barna commented on the results of the IMAS poll saying that the poll is aimed at demobilizing his voters, namely people who want “a modern Romania”.
The only other public reference is a poll conducted internally by the Save Romania Union, which shows significantly different results. While Iohannis dominates that poll as well, his score is lower - 39%, while Dancila comes second, with 23.4%, and Dan Barna is third, with 18.5%. Mircea Diaconu’s score in the USR poll is just 8%.
USR MP Catalin Drula, the coordinator of Dan Barna’s electoral campaign, wrote on an internal USR communication group, that the results of the IMAS survey are significantly different than those of the polls carried out by USR and even PSD, probably due to different methodology used, according to G4Media.ro. USR’s internal surveys are carried out face-to-face while the IMAS poll is carried out by phone, using a random number methodology. Moreover, the results of the USR survey only consider the respondents who are sure or almost sure they will go to vote while IMAS hasn’t released any information about this. Drula promised his colleagues that he would come up with fresh research results on Monday.
Meanwhile, prime minister-designate Ludovic Orban, the leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), which supports president Klasu Iohannis in the race for another mandate, said that Iohannis could win the elections in the first round. “We can, without any problem, win the elections in the first round, with a score that nobody expects,” Orban said at a party meeting, according to Digi24.ro. He argued that president Klaus Iohannis is the only candidate with the experience needed for the job and that PNL is very well organized.
USR's Catalin Drula commented ironically that one can win the elections in the first round if he were Nicolae Ceausescu and that such statements as Orban's are borderline fake news.
The first round of the presidential elections takes place on Sunday, November 10, while the second round is scheduled to take place two weeks later, on November 24.
(Photo source: Mircea Diaconu Facebook page)