Exit Polls: The centre-left Socialists and Democrats group are expected to gain a seat while the centre-right European People’s Party and liberals ALDE are each forecast to lose one, according to national estimates released by the European Parliament.
Voter turnout dropped 10 points to 32%
This is a summary of Politico’s and FT projections of the voting today in Croatia:
Croatia – The Projections
If turnout of 25.24% is maintained in this vote, Politico predicts HDZ will beat second placed SDP by 66,830 votes. That is just 2.35% of the 2,845,439 expected non-voters.
HDZ is expected to win 5 seats out of the 11 available.
Croatia – The Issues
The Social Democratic party (SDP), traditionally the strongest opposition to the ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) appears to be in freefall, creating space for an array of smaller parties, ranging from progressive, pro-European players to Eurosceptic anti-vaxxers.
Corruption and crony capitalism, as embodied by the collapse of the region’s largest company, Agrokor and the bankruptcy of one-important shipyards in the coastal city of Pula, have dominated the debate.
Social issues such as reproductive rights have also emerged as key topics. Voter concerns also include mass emigration, an influx of asylum seekers and education reform. The campaign will be a testing ground for messaging ahead of presidential elections that could take place by the end of the year. (FT)