Pavel Widens Lead In Presidential Race Despite Recovery In Support For Babis
The observers of Czech presidential election will be kept in the dark until polling stations close after the first round of voting, as the publication of new opinion polls is strictly forbidden in the three days before the election and during the voting process. In the absence of survey data, the focus will turn to the final TV debates and betting market pricing.
- The beginning of the week brought some fresh tailwinds for the campaign of former Prime Minister Babis. A Prague court freed him of fraud charges, which have been casting shadow over his political career, before the billionaire politician was received in the Elysee Palace by French President Emmanuel Macron.
- Meanwhile, Babis' two closest rivals traded barbs over a fairly insignificant remark by Petr Pavel related to Danuse Nerudova's background. They had previously avoided open confrontation, campaigning on an anti-Babis platform and standing by pro-EU and pro-NATO views.
- According to a model designed by Mandaty.cz based on betting market pricing, Petr Pavel has now emerged as the clear frontrunner in the presidential race, while Andrej Babis has managed to reverse a downtrend in the odds of his victory. Danuse Nerudova's implied change of winning has dropped sharply.
- Candidates still have the opportunity to turn the situation around through their performance in the final TV debates. Petr Pavel and Danuse Nerudova will face off in a TV Prima/CNN Prima debate tonight, while Andrej Babis will join them in a TV Nova debate tomorrow. Babis has so far refrained from participating in any debates.
Fig. 1: Implied chance of winning Czech presidential election according to bookmakers (Mandaty.cz)