“Together forever? What future for electoral alliances?

“I think their decision to stand together as alliances, as pre-election coalitions, was very pragmatic – in order to avoid any split in the vote against Andrej Babiš.

“I think it’s very likely that any type of alliance will also be used in the next election.

“I say ‘any type’ of alliance, because right now we probably can’t be sure it’s going to be the same alliances.

NOA Campaign |  Photo: Czech Television

“Perhaps the parties in the Together alliance are more likely to continue on this platform because they are not only connected pragmatically – they are also more connected programmatically and ideologically.

“While the other alliance, the Mayors and the Pirates, are let’s say more pragmatic than programmatic partners.

“So I see the potential in the future that they might choose a different partner, or maybe they can somehow change their cooperation.

“Maybe they could add another party to the alliance.”

For those parties that have run together in these alliances, what are the benefits, or the dangers, of continuing to stay together?

“For the Civic Democrats, the advantage of this alliance is that they – although they are a strong party – are not as strong as their closest challenger, Andrej Babiš’s ANO party.

“So for the Civic Democrats, this partnership brings them extra votes, extra percentages, which brings them closer to the ANO.

“For the two smaller junior parties – the Christian Democrats and the TOP 09 – being partners with the Civic Democrats keeps them as relevant actors in the Czech party system.

Petr Just |  Photo: CT24

“Because as we have seen in some polls, if these two parties are counted individually, they would probably have a hard time entering the Chamber of Deputies on their own.

“Of course, the downside here is always that very loyal voters of each of the political parties might see it as a diversion from some of the original principles on which the party is based.

“Because always when you enter into a political alliance, you have to compromise, you have to give up part of your program, or you have to put part of your program that was a priority on the back burner, as they say.

“So some voters might see it as a weakening of the party’s original ideology.

“However, I think most voters in these three political parties understand the pragmatism of this alliance, and I don’t think any of these three parties are losing voters just because they joined the alliance.

“But the threat is still there.”

In the municipal elections in September, Ensemble is running on the same ticket in some constituencies and not in others. Is it confusing for voters? Or is it just normal politics?

“As I said, even forming the alliance at the national level was a pragmatic step – and I think the same principle applies at the local level as well.

“There are areas where, say, the Christian Democratic Party feels strong enough to run independently – or where both parties would feel they should be the leader of the common alliance.

“But neither of them wants to step back and allow the other to be the leader.

“Of course, from a national perspective, it may seem a little confusing, but I think people who vote in that particular city or region would not feel confused.

“Because they know the situation in their community.”

Berta D. Wells