This article has been written for Albanian Free Press newspaper and www.albanianfreepress.al
By Eduard Zaloshnja
The 80 year old history of political opinion polls in the world tells us that in the majority of cases, approval ratings for political leaders are higher than approval ratings for their parties. This was also true for the Democratic Party in June 2015.
Before the local elections of 2015, I conducted an opinion poll which revealed that 750 thousand eligible voters in Albania (34% of eligible voters) had a positive opinion about the democrat leader Basha.
Meanwhile, candidates who ran for local elections nominated by Basha took 670 thousand votes in those elections. (For the purpose of comparison, Berisha’s coalition had taken 680 thousand votes two years ago). In other words, the party leader had higher approval ratings than his party.
Two years later…
Ten days prior to the 2017 elections, I conducted an opinion poll which suggested that only 330 thousand eligible voters (15% of eligible voters in the country) had a positive opinion about the democrat leader, Basha.
Meanwhile, candidates for local elections who were nominated by Basha took 455 thousand votes during the elections. In this case, Basha’s approval ratings were lower than his party’s.
At the present…
Last week, IPR marketing (this company conducts opinion polls for Italian state owned channel Rai every time elections are held in Italy) published a survey on a TV network based in Tirana. The opinion polls suggests that only 290 thousand voters have a positive opinion about the democrat leader Basha, while 580 thousand are willing to vote the Democratic Party today. In other words, Basha’s approval ratings continue to fall as opposed to the Democratic Party’s approval ratings .
What would boost the Democratic Party’s electoral result?
An opinion poll that I conducted several months ago, suggested that 635 thousand voters had a positive opinion about Berisha. An opinion poll conducted by an Italian company Piepoli several months ago, showed that the number of voters who had a positive opinion on Berisha is around 590 thousand. Meanwhile, as it was mentioned above, the Democratic Party is currently supported by 580 thousand people, while Basha is only supported by 290 thousand people.
What else can we say about approval ratings?
Author’s note: By definition, surveys are not a precise instrument and they have a small margin of error. Nonetheless, political opinion polls do not differ a lot from the actual electoral trends.
Note: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Albanian Free Press’ editorial policy