Despite Dismal Polls, SDP Leader Confident in European Elections Success

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ZAGREB, November 25, 2018 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić commented on Saturday on the Crobarometar survey by the IPSOS agency, published on Friday, which shows a drop in voter support for the party to 14.6%, telling reporters that they should not worry about the SDP because it would achieve a European elections success.

Bernardić made the statement while attending a convention of the SDP Women’s Forum and after he and Women’s Forum representatives released black balloons into the sky to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, November 25.

When asked by reporters if the black balloons also signified the SDP’s rating, he said: “I cannot comment on the party’s rating at a moment when we are marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Do not worry about the SDP, the SDP works and will have good results in elections for the European Parliament.”

“Two surveys were published yesterday and they show diametrically opposed results, which is a bit weird. European elections will be the best test. As for the drop in party ratings, we definitely could have done without MPs crossing the floor to join the parliamentary majority, without those who support the ‘For the homeland ready’ Ustasha salute, and without frequent attempts at intraparty coups, but rest assured, we will put things in order,” he said.

Asked if he was considering stepping down since voter support for his party had dropped to below 15% and the Živi Zid party enjoyed voter support that was only 1% below the SDP’s rating, Bernardić said that the party was “entirely focused on elections for the European Parliament and on wage and pension growth in Croatia.”

Asked if he expected the party membership to again launch a procedure to replace him, he said, “We mustn’t let anything take us by surprise.”

According to the latest Crobarometar survey, the HDZ enjoys the support of 29.3% of voters, the SDP enjoys 14.6% support, the Živi Zid 13.5% support, and the MOST party is supported by 6% of the electorate.

SDP Presidency member Ivo Jelušić, Social Democrat member of the European Parliament Biljana Borzan, SDP MP Sabina Glasovac, and former SDP official Željka Antunović, who attended the convention, were also asked to comment on the latest party ratings, and they all expressed concern.

“The party president is referring to a survey which shows that we enjoy 19% voter support but I believe that the SDP can’t be satisfied with either 15% or 19%. The SDP wants to assume responsibility to lead the country and those percentages are far from enabling us to move towards a better, more just and socially more sensitive society. If we want to settle for the opposition, that’s fine, but I don’t think that should be the reason for political activism and that a good part of Croatia, 71% of people, think the country is moving in the wrong direction. We owe them a solution and an alternative, and that requires support much stronger than just 15% or 19%,” said Glasovac.

For more on the turmoil in SDP, click here.


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