The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ, EPP), the ruling party led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, is topping the polls with 26.7% a week before local elections scheduled for 16 May.
HDZ is counting on victory in Split and Osijek, the second and fourth biggest cities in Croatia. However, polls show a close battle for the capital Zagreb.
After the sudden death of Milan Bandić, the longest-serving mayor in the history of Zagreb, polls are suggesting a big shift towards the newly established green-left platform We Can (Možemo!), whose candidate Tomislav Tomašević is a stable favourite to win, but only in the second round.
It remains to be seen who Tomašević’s top political opponent will be. The polls are fluctuating between right-wing folk singer Miroslav Škoro, candidate of the Homeland Movement, and HDZ’s Davor Filipović. If Filipović fails to secure a spot in the second round of these elections, that would be perceived as a big loss for Plenković and his base in the Croatian capital.
Polls suggest the opposition SDP (S&D) can count on the support of only 19.6% of Croatian citizens. Their mayoral candidates for the big cities have thus far not managed to build up sizable support. They are struggling to maintain the mayor post even in Rijeka, the social-democrats’ traditional stronghold, where SDP mayor Vojko Obersnel has been in power since 2000. (Tea Trubić Macan | EURACTIV.hr)