A close result is predicted in today’s general election


Croatians will go to the polls today in what is promising to be an exciting and very close general election if the opinion polls are correct. The 6,574 polling stations will open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. local time for the 3,791,341 eligible voters. They are voting for the 151 seats in the Croatian Parliament or Hrvatski sabor of which 140 are elected from ten constituencies in Croatia, three from the diaspora and eight from representatives of national minorities. There are 166 lists and 2,311 candidates standing. Overseas voting will also take place in 48 countries.

In January this year Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won the presidential election despite predictions of a win for the ruling party candidate. At the time the ruling centre-left Croatia is Growing (formerly Kukuriku coalition) of Prime Minister Zoran Milanović was trailing in the polls.

Since then Croatia is Growing have clawed their way back and an opinion poll by IPSOS-PULS puts Croatia is Growing on 60 seats and the Patriotic Coalition, which is led by the opposition centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), on 57 seats. A new party, the Bridge of Independent Lists, MOST, could be the third largest party with 12 seats. Other polls have shown the Patriotic Coalition in front.

The Croatia is Growing coalition consists of six parties and the Patriotic Coalition which covers the HDZ and partners consist of eight parties.

The centre-right Bridge of Independent Lists (MOST) was formed in November 2012 by Božo Petrov, the incumbent mayor of the southern Dalmatian town Metković.

There are ten other parties mainly with ethnic or regional sympathies, but these may well become the kingmakers after the election.

In the 2011 general election the opposition Kukuriku coalition won 81 seats (they are now down to 74 seats) in the 151 seat parliament.

The HDZ coalition came second with 47 seats and the Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB), a regional party, came third with seven seats.

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