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All 200 seats in the Chamber of Deputies
101 seats needed for a majority
A legislative election in the Czech Republic took place on 28–29 May 2010 to elect the members of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. The election had been expected to take place sometime before the end of 2009, but was postponed due to legal challenges. Before the election, the country had been governed by a caretaker administration headed by Jan Fischer.
The election saw a loss of support for the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), although they still received the highest number of votes. The conservative Civic Democratic Party (ODS) and TOP 09 followed in second and third, with the Communist Party finishing fourth. ČSSD leader Jiří Paroubek resigned after the election, conceding that a conservative coalition government appeared likely, due to the rise in support for two new right-wing parties: TOP 09 and Public Affairs (VV). In June, a centre-right coalition of ODS, TOP 09, and VV was formed, with Petr Nečas becoming the prime minister.
On 24 March 2009, after four previous failed attempts, the opposition ČSSD succeeded in passing a no confidence vote against the government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek (ODS) in the lower house of the Czech parliament. The measure passed with 101 votes to 96, with several members of Topolánek's own party voting with the opposition.
On 28 March 2009, ČSSD leader Jiří Paroubek and Topolánek agreed to hold early elections in October 2009. They later agreed to form an interim government of experts (before the end of the Czech EU presidency), with half of the government nominated by ČSSD and half by two parties of the incumbent government (ODS and The Greens; the third party KDU–ČSL did not participate), and that early elections would be held on 16–17 October 2009. On 5 April 2009, Paroubek and Topolánek agreed on Jan Fischer, the head of the national statistical office, as the interim Prime Minister, to take over on 8 May 2009, and stated that elections would be held by 15 October 2009, most likely on 9–10 October 2009.
The newly founded party Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09 (TOP 09), which had split off from the KDU–ČSL, also contested the election. Some polls showed the party to be in fourth place, closely behind the Communist Party.
The election date was initially scheduled for 1 July 2009, but ex-ČSSD Independent MP Miloš Melčák filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court, on the grounds that he had a right to sit in parliament for a full term, and the election was postponed while the court examined the legality of the law setting the election date. A hearing was scheduled for 10 September 2009; if the court ruled against the complaint at that hearing, elections would be held as planned, but politicians agreed that they would rather change the constitution to simplify the procedure of calling early elections, and using the new provisions, the election would be held with a delay of at most one month, regardless of the court's decision, most likely on 6–7 November.
However, the Constitutional Court viewed the constitutional amendment calling for one-off early elections as a retroactive decision in violation of the existing constitutional procedures regulating early elections, and struck down the act on the grounds that it violated the procedure for constitutional amendments, the right to vote, and the inalienable principle of a law-abiding state. As the Court ruled the election date invalid, the laws (a constitutional amendment and a law shortening election deadlines) were passed on 11 September as planned. President Klaus signed the laws on 12 September, and parliament planned to dissolve itself on 15 September. Melčák stated, however, that he would likely file another complaint if this plan went ahead.
In a surprise move, ČSSD announced on 15 September that it would not vote in favour of dissolution, as the new law was likely to be challenged by Melčák again, and this would again call the legality of the election into question; they were now in favour of elections in mid-2010, on the initially scheduled dates. ČSSD had 71 seats and needed ten more MPs to support their position to delay the election, but it was considered likely that they would succeed in blocking the election. The Christian and Democratic Union (KDU-ČSL) also withdrew their support for early elections, meaning the election would be held in May 2010.
Following controversial comments about the Catholic Church, Jews and homosexuals, ODS chairman Topolánek withdrew from the election and resigned as party leader on 26 March 2010. He was replaced by Petr Nečas.
|Date||Polling Firm||ČSSD||ODS||TOP 09||KSČM||VV||KDU-ČSL||SZ||SPOZ||Others|
|28-29 May 2010||Election||22.1||20.2||16.7||11.3||10.9||4.4||2.4||4.3||7.7|
|7–12 May 2010||PPM Factum||26.3||22.9||10.9||13.1||12.6||5.5||2.5||2.6||3.6|
|3–10 May 2010||CVVM||30.5||19.0||14.0||13.0||11.5||3.5||4.5||2.0||2.0|
|28 April–4 May 2010||Sanep||29.9||22.3||10.1||12.9||9.8||4.7||2.8||5.5||2.0|
|23–28 April 2010||PPM Factum||27.5||21.7||11.1||13.9||11.0||5.2||2.9||3.2||3.5|
|13–28 April 2010||Médea Research||30.4||18.7||13.7||10.0||12.0||4.4||4.9||3.7||2.2|
|7–13 April 2010||Sanep||29.0||20.1||13.4||13.0||8.5||5.6||3.6||5.2||1.6|
|TOP 09||53,628,000 Kč|
The centre-left ČSSD won the most votes, with 22.1%. The conservative ODS and TOP 09 followed with 20.2% and 16.7% respectively. The Communist Party came fourth with 11.3%, ahead of the centre-right VV which received 10.9%. It was the first time that the Communists had finished lower than third in a Czech election. TOP 09 and VV won seats in Parliament for the first time. The Christian Democrats (4.4%), the Party of Civic Rights (4.3%), the Green Party (2.4%), and Sovereignty (3.7%), failed to gain the 5% necessary to enter parliament. Voter turnout was 62.6% nationally, highest in Prague-West District (71.69%) and lowest in Sokolov District (50.89%). The results were a setback for the Czech Republic's largest parties, ČSSD and ODS. President Václav Klaus said that the results would cause a "fundamental weakening" of the two parties.
|Czech Social Democratic Party||1,155,267||22.08||56||–18|
|Civic Democratic Party||1,057,792||20.22||53||–28|
|Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia||589,765||11.27||26||0|
|Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party||229,717||4.39||0||–13|
|Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci||226,527||4.33||0||New|
|Sovereignty – Jana Bobošíková Bloc||192,145||3.67||0||New|
|Workers' Party of Social Justice||59,888||1.14||0||New|
|Czech Pirate Party||42,323||0.80||0||New|
|Party of Free Citizens||38,897||0.74||0||New|
|Coalition for Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia||1,993||0.03||0||0|
|Czech National Socialist Party||1,371||0.02||0||0|
|Czech National Social Party||295||0.00||0||0|
|Source: Czech Statistical Office|
|Parties and coalitions||Votes||%||Seats|
|Civic Democratic Party||158,014||24.79||8|
|Czech Social Democratic Party||96,706||15.17||4|
|Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia||41,647||6,53||2|
|Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci||19,851||3.11||0|
|Total (turnout 68.0%)||637,328||25|
|Parties and coalitions||Votes||%||Seats|
|Civic Democratic Party||150,465||23.87||7|
|Czech Social Democratic Party||129,368||20.52||6|
|Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia||69,368||11.00||3|
|Sovereignty – Jana Bobošíková Bloc||27,430||4.35||0|
|Party of Civic Rights – Zemanovci||23,235||3.68||0|
|Total (turnout 64.26%)||630,203||24|
After the election results were announced, Jiří Paroubek resigned as ČSSD leader, citing disappointment with the outcome, and saying that "it seems that people have chosen the direction the republic should go in and it is a different direction than the one ČSSD were offering". ČSSD had led comfortably in polling before the election, and its 22% share of the vote was a significant drop from the party's 32% in the 2006 election. Paroubek conceded that a conservative coalition government was likely. ODS, TOP 09 and VV had all committed to government spending cuts, raising the prospect of the formation of a fiscally conservative Cabinet. The leaders of the three parties held coalition talks shortly after the results were released. ODS leader Petr Nečas said that the three parties had a "common will" to join in government, stating that their financial plans would work together to help the country avoid a crisis similar to the one taking place in Greece at the time.
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