Why Mongolian Voters Would Not Abandon Establishment Political Parties in the 2020 Election
Key takeaways from Sant Maral's latest polls ahead of Mongolian general elections in 2020:
As Mongolia gears up for the 2020 parliamentary elections, the country's two major political parties - the Mongolian People's Party (MPP) and the Democratic Party (DP) - continue to dominate the political landscape.
Despite a growing distrust in mainstream political institutions and an increasing number of undecided voters, it seems unlikely that these established parties will lose their grip on power.
According to a recent survey, a majority of Mongolian voters remain undecided, marking the highest number of swing votes since 2013.
This trend reflects a growing disenchantment with the MPP and DP, who have maintained their hold on power for nearly 30 years. However, it remains to be seen whether this sentiment is enough to unseat these two major parties in the upcoming election.
The MPP currently leads the polls if one ignores the high number of undecided voters. However, the party's popularity has waned since the 2016 election.
The MPP is headed by the charismatic and popular leader Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh, but he faces a tough challenge in 2020.
While it is likely that he will secure a majority for his party, it is also possible that the MPP would end up sharing power with its rivals.
This would still represent a retreat for the MPP compared to the 2016 election outcome. Moreover, internal factions that are not favorable to Khurelsukh could demand his dismissal.
On the other hand, the DP has hit a six-year low in popularity, dropping below 30% for the first time since 2013.
Unlike the MPP, the DP currently lacks an energetic leader.
In order to remain competitive, the DP must activate and energize its support base. This will be crucial for the party's chances in the upcoming election.
Although Mongolian President Khaltmaagiin Battulga has emerged as a real leader for the DP following the 2017 elections, he must remain non-partisan in carrying out his duties.
The Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) has been slowly capturing over 20% of voters' support. Although it is yet to become a serious alternative to the MPP and DP, its popularity has reached an all-time high thanks to former President Nambaryn Enkhbayar's unrelenting campaign against the establishment (also known as the MANAN or 'Fog' Regime).
Smaller political parties in Mongolia have little chance in the next election unless they can capitalize on the high number of undecided voters and attract enough financial support.
However, running election campaigns has become increasingly expensive. As such, these parties face an uphill battle in gaining a foothold in the political landscape.
While there is growing distrust in mainstream political institutions in Mongolia, it seems unlikely that the MPP and DP will be unseated in the upcoming election.
With the MPP's declining popularity and the DP's lack of an energetic leader, the MPRP could emerge as a serious contender in the coming years. However, smaller parties face significant obstacles in gaining traction in the political arena.