Thursday, November 12, 2009

Geoana Could Defeat Basescu in Romania

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Romanian president Traian Basescu could lose his bid for re-election if an upcoming ballot goes to a run-off, according to a poll by CCSB. 34 per cent of respondents would vote for Basescu in this month’s first round, up three points in one month.

Mircea Geoana of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) is second with 30 per cent, followed by Crin Antonescu of the National Liberal Party (PNL) with 18 per cent, and Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu with 14 per cent. Support is lower for Corneliu Vadim Tudor of the Party of Great Romania (PRM), George Becali of the New Generation - Christian Democrat Party (PNG-CD), and Kelemen Hunor of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).

In a run-off scenario, Geoana leads Basescu by an eight-point margin. Antonescu and Oprescu are also ahead of the incumbent, but with a slim margin of two percentage points.

Basescu won the presidential run-off in December 2004 as the candidate of the Alliance for Justice and Truth (DA)—comprising the Democratic Party (PD) and the PNL—with 51.23 per cent of the vote.

Romania held a legislative election in November 2008. Final results gave the coalition of the PSD and the Conservative Party (PC) 33.09 per cent of the vote and 114 seats in the lower house, followed by the Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L) with 32.36 per cent and 115 mandates. Basescu nominated PD-L leader Emil Boc to take over as prime minister from Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

On Oct. 13, the Romanian government collapsed following a defeat in a confidence vote. Opposition parties rejected Boc’s government for proposing pension reforms aimed at securing funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This will not prevent the presidential election from happening.

On Oct. 22, Basescu announced that Romanians, in conjunction with the first round of the presidential election, would participate in a referendum on switching the country’s legislative body from a bi-cameral entity to a unicameral parliament.

On Nov. 8, Basescu vowed to reform Romania’s institutions, declaring, "The Romanian state by its 1.4 million employees has become a burden for each Romanian. We have the obligation to modernize the institutions, and make this state, which is a burden for the Romanians, simpler and above all we must make it no longer consume 29 per cent of the budget."

Romanians are called to elect a president on Nov. 22. If no candidate garners more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round, a run-off between the top two vote-getters must take place within 14 days.

Polling Data

Which candidate would you vote for in Romania’s presidential election?

Nov. 2009
Oct. 2009
Sept. 2009
Traian Basescu
34%
31%
34%
Mircea Geoana (PSD)
30%
20%
18%
Crin Antonescu (PNL)
18%
18%
19%
Sorin Oprescu (Ind.)
14%
14%
n.a.
Corneliu Vadim Tudor (PRM)
3%
8%
7%
George Becali (PNG-CD)
1%
6%
8%
Kelemen Hunor (UDMR)
1%
2%
1%
Run-off scenarios
Traian Basescu 46% - 54% Mircea Geoana (PSD) 
Traian Basescu 49% - 51% Crin Antonescu (PNL) 
Traian Basescu 49% - 51% Sorin Oprescu (Ind.)
Source: CCSB 
Methodology: Interviews with 1,528 Romanian adults, conducted on Oct. 29 and Nov. 3, 2009. Margin of error is 2.6 per cent.

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