Internal poll reportedly shows a five percent difference between the SDP-led People’s Coalition and HDZ.
In recent days, SDP has conducted an internal poll which – according to one of a few people who are familiar with the results – shows that the SDP-led People’s Coalition has 4 to 5 percent advantage ahead of HDZ, reports Jutarnji List on August 19, 2016.
The coalition led by SDP president Zoran Milanović still leads HDZ, but the difference is quite small. The latest results are in line with the expectations of one leading SDP member who two days ago analyzed the current situation and concluded that the People’s Coalition can hope to win at best 61 seats in Parliament. Just one month ago, SDP expected to win about 65 seats, but HDZ has managed to stabilize itself in the meantime and it is becoming quite evident that the People’s Coalition will not have a large lead over HDZ.
It is obvious that the biggest problem for the People’s Coalition will be four parliamentary constituencies in Slavonia and Dalmatia, where HDZ almost always wins. One member of SDP leadership said that it was not even worthwhile to spend resources in the ninth and tenth constituency (Dalmatia), since at best they can win just one more seat in parliament compared to November 2015. The situation is even worse in the fourth and fifth constituency (Slavonia), due to the scandals of former Agriculture Minister Tihomir Jakovina who damaged the standing of the party in rural areas.
Some SDP members expect that MOST and Živi Zid will win about twenty seats, which would further complicate negotiations on forming the next government. “Both MOST and Živi Zid are completely unreliable and if they achieve good results, that would mean 20 MPs with whom we could not cooperate”, said a source.
At the time when SDP expected to win 65 seats, they counted on three IDS MPs and eight representatives of national minorities to give them the majority (76 MPs). However, if they win just 60 or 61 seats, they will have to look for additional coalition partners, and it is doubtful whether HDSSB or Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić will want to cooperate with the People’s Coalition.
In other words, although SDP is still generally satisfied with the results of the poll, since the People’s Coalition still has advantage over HDZ, it is now faced with a lot more problems than two months ago, when Tomislav Karamarko brought down the government of Tihomir Orešković and the support for HDZ dropped to about 20 percent in some polls.
The People’s Coalition will now launch a full mobilization. They will have more than a thousand billboards, they will deploy as many as 12,000 observers at the polling stations, and voters across the country will soon get a new letter by Milanović urging them to vote for his coalition. In three weeks, we will see whether that was enough for a win.