Prague – Interest in the second round of the senate elections is still low. In the first hours today, an average of about five percent of voters arrived at the polls, similar to several previous election finals to the upper parliamentary chamber. This follows from information to ČTK from election commissioners and municipal authorities. More, roughly a tenth of voters, came to Jihlavsk by 4:00 p.m., where the most watched duel of this year’s elections is taking place. For the senator’s seat there, the current president of the Senate, Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), is fighting against Jana Nagyová, who, together with the head of ANO, Andrej Babiš, is accused in the case of subsidies for the construction of Čapí’s nest.
So far, the lowest turnout in the second round of senate elections was in 2016, when 15.38 percent of voters came to vote. At that time, elections were held in the same precincts as this year. The highest participation was twenty years ago, when it reached 32.6 percent. In the last elections to the third Senate two years ago, the voter turnout in the second round was 16.37 percent. Compared to last Friday, when the first round of senate elections took place together with municipal elections, voter interest has so far been roughly halved.
Electoral turnout will probably be above average in Jihlavsk, where a very heated and watched fight between Vystrčil and Nagy is taking place. Electoral commissions contacted by ČTK stated that two hours after the opening of polling stations, the voter turnout was around ten percent in this precinct. People go less than last week, when there were also municipal elections, but it is not such a significant drop, said a member of one of the election commissions in Jihlava. About a tenth of the voters came in Brtnica. In Telč in Jihlavsk, where Vystrčil will also vote, the turnout was eight percent in one district and almost ten percent in others.
In Central Bohemia, people vote in the second round of senate elections in three constituencies. Four percent of people came to vote in Mělnick as of 4:00 p.m. today. So far, 8.5 percent of people have voted for the Senate for the Kutná Hora district. In Beroun, 3.2 percent of people and 4.2 percent in the surrounding municipalities arrived at the polls in the first two hours.
Voter turnout in the senate elections in Prague 10 is around 5.5 percent, and in Prague 11 it is around seven percent. Today, only individuals were waiting for the opening of polling stations in the Liberec district, whereas a week ago there were dozens of them.
Also in Ústeck and Mosteck, the second round is accompanied by low voter turnout. The current estimate of voter turnout is 3.5 percent, spokeswoman for the Ústí Region Magdalena Fraňková told ČTK shortly after 4:00 p.m. The traditionally low turnout is in precinct number 2016 in the Ústí part of Mojžíř, two hours after the opening of the polling station it did not even reach one percent. In contrast, in Husova Street in Krásné Březno, roughly five percent of voters arrived at the polls within two hours. In Mostecké Čepirohá, where there are mainly family houses, eight percent of voters came to cast their ballots. Only about seven percent of people came to vote in one of the five precincts at the Podkrušnohorský gymnasium in Most. In Křížatecká Street in Litvínov, the electoral commission counted five percent.
According to ČTK findings, voter turnout in Karlovy Vary was around three percent. For precincts with few voters, this meant only 15 people in the first two hours. Voter turnout is usually low in the second round, but this year it is even lower than in previous senate elections. In the Pilsen-city district, which includes part of Pilsen, southern Pilsen and several municipalities from Klatovsk, voter turnout is between two and five percent, according to information from the regional office.
In the south of Bohemia, after two hours from the opening of the polling station, the turnout is between four and seven percent. In two Český Krumlov districts, at 16:15 the turnout was four and 4.7 percent, respectively. It was a little higher in one Prachaty district in Národní Street. “Low turnout. We have around 1,400 voters and not even a hundred envelopes have been issued,” a committee member told ČTK.
Voter turnout in the second round of senate elections in district 43 – Pardubice has not yet exceeded ten percent. 6.5 percent of voters came to vote in Barchov in Pardubice, about ten percent at the Municipal Office in Lázně Bohdaneč, and almost eight percent at the Mozartova Gymnasium in Pardubice. In Jičín, in electoral district number 6 with a polling station in Lepař’s gymnasium, the voter turnout at 4:00 p.m. was at the level of six percent.
Voter turnout in the Moravian-Silesian region is still very low, Jan Berousek from the regional office estimated it at around four percent shortly after 4:30 p.m. Voter turnout in Kroměříž was around six percent in the afternoon.
In the Brno electoral district number 55, 4.9 percent of voters have so far come to cast their vote, in the second district number 58, 5.9 percent of voters have arrived. In Blansko, participation has so far reached 4.7 percent.
Unlike the first round, which took place a week ago in parallel with the municipal elections, the senate elections are not held in all 27 senate constituencies. Polling stations in Prague 6, Bruntálsk and Orlickousteck remained closed, because people there elected senators already in the first round – Jiří Růžička (proposed TOP 09) from the Starostů club, Ladislav Václavek (ANO) and Petr Fial (KDU-ČSL).
About 2.5 million citizens have the right to vote. In the first round, more than two fifths of them came to vote, in the second round participation is traditionally lower. People only receive ballots at polling stations.
Vystrčil does not believe in a high turnout in the Senate, even if it will be decisive
Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (ODS) does not count on a large turnout in the second round of Senate elections, which began today. His opponent in the electoral district is Jana Nagyová (ANO), but it seems to Vystrčil that he is competing with the chairman of the ANO movement and former prime minister Andrej Babiš. Both Nagyová and Babiš are now on trial in the subsidy case for Čapí hnízdo.
“We tried to explain that the round of senate elections is only the second and that they are both starting from scratch there. We will see if we succeeded,” said journalist Vystrčil in Telč today after casting his vote.
In the first round, which took place a week ago, people chose from six candidates. 48.93 percent of voters came to vote. Six years ago, participation in the first round was over 35 percent and in the second round less than 15 percent.
Vystrčil repeated that the campaign before this year’s elections was different from those experienced before. “I did not perceive that I had a rival Jana Nagyová, but that the rival was Andrej Babiš with his infinite amount of money and infinite number of assistants,” said the chairman of the Senate.
According to him, the campaign by the ANO movement was conducted offensively and was dishonorable. It lacked a contest of opinions on what the future senator should be beneficial to the region, when Nagyová did not come to any of the proposed debates and did not even take advantage of Vystrčil’s offer of a debate on Thursday, when both candidates had their pre-election meetings in Jihlava at almost the same time. “I think it’s logical and right for a person to say what they want to do when elected, not to say – I want to run to destroy someone or to get them not to be elected – that seems strange to me,” said Sticking out.
The results of the second round of the senate elections will be known on Saturday. Vystrčil, who is a joint candidate of the ODS, KDU-ČSL and TOP 09, advanced to it with a gain of 45.62 percent of the votes. Nagy got 30.56 percent of the votes.