Conservative former premier Janez Jansa and his anti-migrant Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) have emerged victorious from early general elections on June 3, with 24.4% of the vote according to exit polls and early results and 28% of the official results with 5% of the ballots counted.
The success of the ally of Hungarian nationalist Viktor Orban confirms the trend that has seen centre-left parties give ground to conservative and nationalist forces across much of Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through Slovenia in 2015 on their march towards western Europe and Jansa’s political opponents, who resigned from government in 2013 following a corruption scandal, claim that Orban funded SDS’s election campaign through personalities and organisations close to him. Exit polls put the List of Marjan Sarec (LMS), a former actor and satirist, in second place at 12.6%, followed by the party of the outgoing premier Miro Cerar (SMC, centre left) at around 10%. The extreme right-wing Slovenian National Party (SNS) has also apparently exceeded the 4% threshold for entering parliament.
In all nine political parties have taken enough votes to enter the 90-seat parliament, including the Left (Levica), the Socialdemocrats (SD), Nova Slovenija (Nsi), and the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS).
In the absence of an absolute majority Jansa will need to form an alliance in order to govern. “I hope that today’s vote is the first step towards putting Slovenians first, towards making security and the wellbeing of Slovenians and Slovenia a priority,” Jansa said. Turnout was said to have been in the region of 40%, compared to 51.7% in the last general elections in 2014.