Thursday, October 02, 2003

[ELECTIONS 2003] New Realism

Two Croatian weeklies are bringing two opposite, yet very realistic appraisals of the elections prospects for Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan) and Ivo Sanader.

Nacional brought results of its first major opinion poll, and its conclusion is that SDP and its partners can expect comfortable victory, even with HDZ beating SDP in 3 out 10 electoral districts. According to Nacional HDZ would win 55 seats and SDP 46. However, SDP allies – HSS, HNS, PGS (Primorsko-Goranska regionalist party) and SBHS (Slavonian regionalist party) would win 29 seats and thus secure Račan's majority. Sanader's key partners – HSLS-DC would win only 5 seats, while HSP would win also 5.

Darko Hudelist in Globus writes about SDP being in state of panic due to "totally unexpected" coalition between HSLS-DC which completely shattered Račan's strategy and forced him to improvise some countermeasures. Hudelist believes that the key of election would be turnout – everything over 70% would secure SDP victory; HDZ voters are traditionally more disciplined. Another important factor is HSS – if that party fares better than HSLS-DC, than Račan has chances.

Both articles are right (although Nacional poll, conducted by 2 journalists, instead of polling agency, is not that reliable). HDZ would be strongest party and it would win in most of electoral districts; SDP is indeed forced to improvise new strategy because of HSLS-DC; SDP has better coalition partners than HDZ; it would depend on turnout.

The only thing that both articles are forgetting or ignoring is ability of Croatian right to make few upsets by having at least 1 or 2 seats snatched by HB or HIP. But since those seats are going to be taken from right voting pool, it wouldn't affect the general balance of Sabor very much.


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