The YES movement succeeded in most regional cities. Although it lost České Budějovice, it triumphantly won in Ostrava, Karlovy Vary and Zlín. In Prague, the coalition led by the ODS collected the most votes, and would like to rule with the Pirates at the town hall. The elections were also successful for the SPD. It participated in only the second municipal elections and will have representatives in all larger cities.
It will be a referendum on the current government, former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš announced before the municipal elections. For several months, the head of the ANO movement toured the regions and stirred up voters. ANO won in most of the regional cities, and although it lost two metropolises compared to the last election, this year it was mostly a sovereign victory. The opposition SPD has strengthened in the big cities, and for the first time it is also approaching seats in the parliament in Prague.
“I would not agree with the term referendum. However, the ANO movement really managed to partially change the elections in the voting for the government. The fact that it did not win in Prague, Brno, České Budějovice or Liberec means that it is not a triumph, but simply a success.” a political scientist from Masaryk University and the Lubomír Kopeček National Institute evaluated the result for Aktuálně.cz. “The rise of protest and populist voices is evident, but it is not an earthquake,” he adds.
In Karlovy Vary, ANO won by more than 20 percentage points, leaving Karlovy Vary in second place. In the metropolis of the smallest region, the Czechia thus defended its victory and, moreover, significantly strengthened. The Spolu coalition, made up of the government parties ODS, KDU-ČSL and TOP 09, finished fourth behind the SPD. Also in Ostrava, ANO has reason to celebrate, it has overtaken its competitors from Spolu by 20 percentage points. With a significant victory, it also won in Olomouc, Zlín, Hradec Králové, Pardubice and Ústí nad Labem. He will thus have the main say in the formation of post-election coalitions and a great chance of winning the mayor’s office.
The success for Babiš’s movement is primarily the significantly higher vote share in a number of large cities compared to the previous elections in 2018. This applies especially to Zlín, where four years ago it won with less than 19 percent, now it got 32 percent. Last time it finished in fifth place in Prague, under the leadership of MP Patrik Nacher, it strengthened this year and before all the votes were counted, it was in second place. However, the winning coalition Spolu pro Praha with leader Bohuslav Svoboda from the ODS announced that it wanted to negotiate the management of the town hall on the ground plan of the governing parties, i.e. with the Pirates and the Mayors. For ANO, this means another four years in opposition.
The Spolu coalition achieved a better result than last time. She won in České Budějovice, i.e. in the city where South Bohemian Governor Martin Kuba from ODS is popular. Also in Brno and Pilsen. He is on his way to victory in Prague. In 2018, they only won in Prague. “It’s a success. We have to see it in the context of the whole of Europe, where we often see the weakening of government parties to a critical situation,” said Prime Minister and ODS chairman Petr Fiala.
They can be satisfied with the elections in the SPD, they got to the council in all regional and many other larger cities. They will decide for the first time in České Budějovice and most probably also in Prague. They strengthened mainly in the former strongholds of the ČSSD and KSČM. That is, in the north of Bohemia and Moravia. But in many cities, other parties exclude their participation in town hall coalitions.
Pirates scored in Prague, but otherwise they did not shine
Pirate chairman Ivan Bartoš, after counting the majority of municipalities, highlighted that his party will be sitting in the councils of all regional towns for the first time. New, for example, in Liberec, outside the regional capital, for example in Teplice. They did not run in any of them four years ago. However, in most large cities they only achieved a similar or slightly lower result than last time. In Hradec Králové, they had 10.21 percent of the vote, nine percent this year.
In Prague, the Pirates defended the mayoral contribution of Zdeňko Hřiba, who until now ruled the capital in a coalition with the Praha seba group and the United Forces for Prague. Before midnight, when the results had not yet been tallied, the Pirates held third place behind the ANO movement and the leader Spolu pro Praha. Such a gain is still better than the polls attributed to them. The Pirates themselves hoped that they could pass the majority of Prague to themselves and the Mayor, in the end they will probably have to negotiate with someone else.
The Mayors are optimistic. Chairman Vít Rakušan set two goals for himself – to have three thousand representatives throughout the Czech Republic and to get an independent seat in the municipality in Prague. The Dosimeter corruption case, which mainly concerned the Starosts, significantly affected their position. After three-quarters of the votes were counted, they had more than 2,500 votes, and the Austrian believed he would conquer three thousand. They won supremely in Rakušanov Kolín, they traditionally won in Liberec, or perhaps in Semile, where the vice-chairman Jan Farský is from. In Prague, you can probably count on participation in the council, almost everyone wants to join the coalition, except for the ANO movement.
Social democracy and communists continue to decline
The decline of ČSSD continues. The former government tried to hide under a different name or abbreviation in the municipal elections, but the orange color almost disappeared from the post-election map. The championship was defended only in Karviná with half of the votes cast. She also succeeded in Bohumín and Náchod, where former MP Jan Birke ran. On the other hand, in Frýdek-Místek, the Social Democrats under the name Prátelé FM fell from first place to third place, and in Opava, they will have none instead of four representatives. They will also be without a representative in Prague.
Similarly, the Communists have confirmed that they will no longer attract voters. While in Ostrava they passed nine percent and had six representatives, they are now moving just above the necessary five percent threshold. They also lost the former working-class towns of Most and Kladno as well as Děčín in North Bohemia. The SPD strengthened in these cities.