Poll Comparison: Karamarko More Unpopular Than Sanader in 2012

Total Croatia News

Comparison of opinion polls shows some worrying results for current Croatian leadership

“Honeymoon is slowly drawing to its end” – that was the headline of most articles commenting on the monthly Crodemoskop poll conducted in March 2012, four months after the parliamentary elections and change in government. But, if we compare the figures from that poll with the ones published at the end of last week, it is obvious that for the current government there was no “honeymoon” at all, reports Novi List on March 9, 2016.

However, the most interesting thing is the disparity in the popularity of the then president and the current president. Ivo Josipović was considered to be the most positive person in Croatian politics by 38.9 percent of respondents while nowadays just 20.1 percent think the same for Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. Moreover, less than four percentage points behind her is Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, so it is possible that quite soon the more or less ceremonial president will no longer be the most popular politician in the country. In addition, Josipović was evaluated by voters as a “very good” president (average score 3.87), while Grabar-Kitarović is only “good” (3.31).

Speaking about popular and unpopular politicians, there is also one other interesting comparison. Tomislav Karamarko is substantially more unpopular today (the most negative politician for 33.9 percent of voters) than Ivo Sanader was in the spring of 2012 (26.5 percent). As a consolation for HDZ president, Zoran Milanović is today also more unpopular than Sanader was four years ago.

It is obvious that the government in a politically divided country cannot count on the kind of support that Zoran Milanović had after his landslide election victory in 2011. Orešković’s team today has the support of 52.4 percent of citizens while SDP government four years ago was supported by 61.9 percent of voters – and that figure was considered as a sign that “honeymoon” was coming to an end. Even more obvious is the difference in the average score for the government. Milanović’s cabinet had an average score of 2.94 (on a scale from 1 to 5) while Orešković’s has just 2.31. However, the main reason for worry for the current government is the fact that their score is lower even than the score with which Milanović and his ministers went to the opposition (2.52).

Finally, when comparing party ratings, it is clear that SDP is currently far stronger opposition than HDZ was four years ago. HDZ, which in March 2012 was involved in tumultuous internal party elections, had the support of only 18 percent of voters, while SDP is now at 28.2 percent, even though it is also preparing for intraparty elections. Ratings of the strongest parties in March 2012 and 2016 do not differ dramatically – four years ago SDP had 33.6 percent of support while HDZ nowadays has 29.3 percent.

What makes the difference today, and this is very relevant since the possibility of early elections is often being mentioned, are the ratings of the third party. Four years ago, the third party was the Croatian Labour Party with the support of 5.6 percent of voters, while the third most popular party now is MOST, with 8.6 percent of support.


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