About a year ahead of the presidential elections, which are supposed to take place in December or January, we have the first major poll of the year of the potential candidates. The Promocija Plus agency conducted a survey for RTL, reports RTL on January 11, 2019.
If the elections were held now, the winner would be decided in the second round. The best chances for a win has the current president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who is expected to run for the second term.
Although she will not announce her decision before spring, as much as 38 per cent of respondents would vote for her in the first round. However, in recent months, after changes among some of her advisers which were not welcomed by voters on the extreme right, she did lose about three per cent of the support.
The second best-candidate is former SDP leader and former Prime Minister Zoran Milanović with almost 18%. He has not yet decided whether or not he will run for the presidency, and the current president has more than two times more support than him.
The former chairwoman of the Conflict of Interest Commission Dalija Orešković, who has never run for a political office, is third with 12 per cent of support, followed by president of the Živi Zid party, Ivan Sinčić, who has lost some support and is now at 7.9 %.
The leader of MOST, Božo Petrov, has also not ruled out the possibility of running, but his support is just 6.2 per cent. In 2010, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić managed to enter the second round of presidential elections, which he lost against SDP’s Ivo Josipović, and there are strong rumours that he might run again. However, this poll gives him just 4.5% of support.
Bruna Esih, a possible candidate of the right-wing parties, which are unhappy with the latest moves by the current president, has no real chance. She gets just over four per cent. Former MOST member Marko Vučetić is under two per cent, and he is the only candidate who has said he would run for the presidency.
Just as in all elections since 2000, the winner would be decided in the second round of voting. The current president is heavily favoured to win. Although her support has declined compared to December, Grabar-Kitarović would easily defeat Milanović. She is at 54.6 per cent, while Milanović is at 37.9 per cent. Although this is still significant support for Milanović since he has not been involved in politics for several years, there is no real reason to expect that the campaign and being in the media focus would increase his popularity. On the contrary.
The following months will tell whether the decline of the current president is just a short-term correction or the start of a negative trend. The president used to increase her popularity by attacking the government periodically, but the question is whether she will be able to continue doing that, given that it is likely that HDZ will support her as a candidate.
More news on the presidential elections can be found in our Politics section.
Translated from RTL (reported by Damira Gregoret).