Presidential poll has opened
Croatia is holding its Presidential election today with a second round taking place on 11th January 2015 if required. There are 3,779,281 eligible voters who will be able to choose from one of four candidates at 6,260 polling stations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Croatians living abroad will be able to vote in 50 countries with the first polls opening as far away as New Zealand. First results are expected around 10 p.m. local time.
The four candidates standing are Ivo Josipović (SDP), Kolinda Grabar Kitarović (HDZ), Milan Kujundžić (Alliance for Croatia) or Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (Human Barrier NGO).
Incumbent President Ivo Josipović originally from the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) but currently standing as an independent is leading according to the opinion polls. An Ipsos plus for Novatv published on 19th December gave him 46.5% of the vote. He is most likely to face Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in a second round runoff. Grabar-Kitarović is on around 34.9% of the vote according to the Ipsos poll.
The position of President is largely ceremonial but the election is expected to be a litmus test for the general election in 2015.