2019 European Parliament election in Croatia
The 2019 European Parliament election in Croatia were held on 26 May 2019, electing members of the national Croatia constituency to the European Parliament. These were the third such elections in the country since its accession to the European Union in 2013.
All 12 Croatian seats in the European Parliament
|Turnout||29.86% ( 4.62 pp)|
It was the first election to be held nationally since the 2016 parliamentary election, following which the center-right HDZ had formed a coalition government, first with the center-right MOST and later - in June 2017, with the centrist HNS. The European Parliament elections were therefore viewed as a major test for the center-left SDP, which had contested all previous nationwide elections since 2011 as part of a coalition, but chose to stand in this election alone. The elections as such was deemed important to showcase whether the SDP could remain the largest opposition party, having been faced with months of falling opinion poll ratings. Its main contenders for such a position within the political system were the anti-establishment, eurosceptic Živi zid party, and the newly formed center-left Amsterdam Coalition.
The election resulted in the two largest parties in the country, the ruling centre-right HDZ, and the opposition centre-left SDP, winning an equal number of seats - each taking 4. SDP won in all four of the largest Croatian cities: Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek. The remaining four seats were evenly divided between the right-wing Croatian Sovereignists coalition, the centre-left Amsterdam Coalition, the anti-establishment Živi zid party and the independent list led by jurist Mislav Kolakušić. The strong performance of right-wing and far-right parties, such as the Croatian Sovereignists coalition and Independents for Croatia-HSP coalition, is thought to have greatly contributed to the surprisingly poor result of the HDZ, notably by significantly reducing its support among members of the Croatian diaspora, who had registered a record turnout in this election. Another surprise in the elections was the large number of votes received by Zagreb jurist Mislav Kolakušić and his independent list - which was something not predicted by opinion polls, as well as the failures of MOST to attain a seat and of independent incumbent MEP Marijana Petir to retain her seat (which she had held since 2014).
At the previous election in 2014, Croatia was allocated 11 seats and is set to receive one additional seat following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. All seats were up for election and the whole country forms a single constituency, with the 12 members elected by proportional representation using open lists and the D'Hondt method.
|EPP Group||4||Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)||4|
|S&D||4||Social Democratic Party (SDP)||4|
|ALDE||1||Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS-DDI)||1|
|ECR||1||Croatian Conservative Party (HKS)||1|
|NI||1||Mislav Kolakušić (ind.)||1|
|EFDD||1||Živi zid (ŽZ)||1|
A total of 33 valid candidate slates with 396 candidates were submitted for the upcoming European Parliament election. The lists were published by the State Election Commission on 10 April, when the official election campaign began that will last for 45 days.
Croatian Democratic Union
The slate of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the ruling centre-right party of Croatia and member of the European People's Party (EPP), was led by 30-year-old Karlo Ressler, who was nominated by the youth branch of the party. The slate also includes two current MEPs, three members of the Croatian Parliament, and two county prefects. The party platform for the election was called "Croatia for Generations". Croatian Prime Minister and HDZ President Andrej Plenković said that the election is a choice between a political course of Croatia's development and a backward course that would isolate Croatia. The main campaign rally of the HDZ, held in Zagreb, was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Manfred Weber, EPP's candidate for European Commission (EC) President. Both of them urged voters to reject nationalism in the upcoming election.
Social Democratic Party of Croatia
The slate of the main opposition party, the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) of the Party of European Socialists (PES), was led by current MEP Tonino Picula. While presenting the party list, Picula said that Croatia had not taken full advantage of its membership in the EU. The SDP was expecting to win three seats in the upcoming election. The campaign event in Rijeka, where the SDP is in power, was attended by Frans Timmermans, the candidate of the PES for president of the EC, alongside SDP President Davor Bernardić. Bernardić accused the HDZ for "failing to salvage" the Croatian shipyards in Rijeka and Pula, in cooperation with the EC.
The list of the Amsterdam Coalition, a coalition of seven parties, including the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), the Civic Liberal Alliance (GLAS), and the Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS), was headed by Istria County prefect Valter Flego of the IDS. GLAS President Anka Mrak Taritaš presented the list as a rejection of a "Europe of barbed wire fences and the Brexit chaos", and said that the coalition advocates an open and free Europe. HSS President Krešo Beljak said that the vote for the coalition is a vote for a European Croatia.
The populist Živi zid party announced a joint platform with Italy's Five Star Movement, Kukiz'15 from Poland, and Greece's AKKEL. The 1st candidate on the slate of the Živi zid was its secretary-general Tihomir Lukanić. Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, the president of the party, presented the platform as a new generation of politicians that will fight against corruption and organised crime.
Bridge of Independent Lists
The slate of the Bridge of Independent Lists (Most) was led by its president, Božo Petrov. If elected, Petrov would have given up his seat in the European Parliament to the next candidate with most preferential votes. Prior to the start of the campaign, the Most party attempted to filibuster a bill that would increase the spending limits for the European election, but the bill was passed by the Croatian Parliament just before the deadline. The party has not joined any of the European political groups and announced the work within the non-affiliated Non-Inscrits.
Independents for Croatia–Croatian Party of Rights
Two right-wing parties, the Independents for Croatia (NHR) and the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP), formed a coalition and emphasized a Europe of "free, sovereign and independent nations" as the main agenda. Their slate included both parties' presidents, Bruna Esih of the NHR and Karlo Starčević of the HSP.
The Croatian Sovereignists coalition was formed by four right-wing parties: the Croatian Conservative Party (HKS), the Croatian Growth (Hrast), the Croatian Party of Rights Dr. Ante Starčević (HSP AS), and the United Croatian Patriots (UHD). Its list was led by current MEP Ruža Tomašić of the HKS, who won a mandate in 2013 and in 2014 on the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition slate.
Independent Democratic Serb Party
The Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), the largest party of the Serbs of Croatia, ran independently for the first time in the European election. Although there were speculations that the SDSS might leave the ruling coalition, its leader Milorad Pupovac confirmed that the SDSS will remain a part it, following a meeting with Prime Minister Plenković. Campaign was marked by SDSS jumbo posters with inscription "Do you know how it is to be a Serb in Croatia?" in which a word Serb was written in Serbian Cyrillic. Jović was second on the list, just behind party leader Milorad Pupovac. As it was expected by campaign leaders jumbo posters were target of widespread nationalist vandalism and destruction which underlined the issue of ethnic intolerance and discrimination.
Other electoral lists
|Date||Polling firm||HDZ||SDP||NL Mislav Kolakušić||Croatian Sovereignists||Živi zid||Amsterdam Coalition|
|26 May 2019||Ipsos puls||5||3||1||1||1||1|
The following graph depicts the evolution of standings of the two main political parties and other parties in the poll since the parliamentary elections 2003.
|25 May 2014||Election results||25.24%||41.4||29.9||0.5||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||28.2||11.5|
|23 Nov 2018||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||25.5||18.5||7.8||13.1||7.8||--||1.2||7.6||--||1.0||--||--||--||7.0|
|27 Dec 2018||2x1 komunikacije||1046||--||28.4||22.8||12.0||10.6||6.6||--||1.6||6.6||--||1.0||--||--||--||5.6|
|18 Jan 2019||IPSOS||1000||--||20.1||10.6||10.8||12.5||7.5||5.1||0.2||8.9||9.4||--||--||--||--||7.6|
|1 Feb 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||26.4||22.0||10.5||14.0||6.8||--||1.4||8.6||--||2.2||--||--||--||4.4|
|27 Feb 2019||IPSOS||991||--||29.6||15.7||9.4||7.2||4.9||5.0||--||--||4.0||--||--||--||--||16.0||13.9|
|28 Feb 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||26.3||20.0||9.9||14.1||8.7||--||1.5||7.5||--||1.7||--||--||--||6.3|
|6 Mar 2019||Promocija plus||1300||--||27.6||16.7||9.6||8.2||6.5||4.0||2.5||4.2||4.0||2.9||--||--||--||10.9|
|21 Mar 2019||Promocija plus||1400||--||27.0||16.4||9.3||8.4||6.4||3.6||2.3||4.3||4.1||2.8||--||--||--||1.6||10.6|
|23 Mar 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||26.6||20.8||10.5||14.4||8.8||--||2.6||6.2||--||1.5||--||--||--||5.8|
|26 Mar 2019||IPSOS||983||--||29.5||18.9||9.4||5.6||6.1||4.0||--||--||4.1||--||--||--||--||16.6||10.6|
|7 Apr 2019||Promocija plus||1300||--||26.9||16.5||8.3||8.2||6.0||--||--||4.5||4.0||4.0||--||--||--||10.4|
|21 Apr 2019||Promocija plus||1400||--||25.1||15.7||7.7||7.6||6.2||2.4||2.4||4.1||3.2||3.9||4.6||4.6||--||2.4||9.4|
|27 Apr 2019||IPSOS||841||--||26.9||17.4||8.7||7.1||6.0||3.1||--||2.8||3.9||2.7||2.8||2.7||--||7.0||9.5|
|29 Apr 2019||Oraclum||1200||--||36.1||20.5||9.7||6.0||7.4||2.2||1.2||2.9||3.4||2.4||3.2||-||--||2.3||15.6|
|30 Apr 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||24.0||21.0||9.8||7.9||6.8||1.0||1.0||5.0||2.0||2.7||3.2||2.5||--||1.2||3.0|
|8 May 2019||Promocija plus||1300||--||26.0||16.2||7.9||7.0||5.6||3.3||--||3.4||--||3.1||4.3||4.4||--||--||9.8|
|20 May 2019||Promocija plus||1400||--||24.5||16.4||7.4||6.9||6.7||2.3||3.1||3.6||2.2||4.4||4.7||4.8||2.0||4.4||8.1|
|23 May 2019||2x1 komunikacije||1041||--||24.0||21.2||11.0||5.9||7.0||2.6||1.7||5.3||3.1||4.8||4.8||4.0||--||2.8|
|24 May 2019||Oraclum||--||--||34.6||21.1||11.1||5.7||7.3||2.8||1.2||2.4||3.1||2.2||3.3||--||1.2||13.5|
|24 May 2019||IPSOS||985||--||28.2||20.1||7.4||6.2||6.1||3.0||--||4.6||3.0||4.2||5.1||--||--||8.1|
|23 Nov 2018||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||4||3||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|27 Dec 2018||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||4||3||2||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|18 Jan 2019||IPSOS||--||--||3||2||2||2||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||1|
|1 Feb 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||4||3||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|27 Feb 2019||IPSOS||--||--||6||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|28 Feb 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||4||3||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|6 Mar 2019||Promocija plus||--||--||5||3||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|21 Mar 2019||Promocija plus||--||--||5||3||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|23 Mar 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||4||3||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||1|
|26 Mar 2019||IPSOS||--||--||6||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|7 Apr 2019||Promocija plus||--||--||5||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||2|
|21 Apr 2019||Promocija plus||--||--||5||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|27 Apr 2019||IPSOS||--||--||5||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|29 Apr 2019||Oraclum||--||--||6||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|30 Apr 2019||2x1 komunikacije||--||--||4||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|8 May 2019||Promocija plus||--||--||5||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|20 May 2019||Promocija plus||--||--||5||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|23 May 2019||2X1 komunikacije||--||--||4||4||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|24 May 2019||IPSOS||--||--||5||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||2|
|24 May 2019||Oraclum||--||--||6||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3|
The ruling HDZ won 22.72% of the vote and 4 seats in the European Parliament. The SDP, the main opposition party, also won 4 seats in the parliament, with 18.71% of the popular vote. The SDP will gain the fourth seat after the United Kingdom leaves the EU. The Croatian Soverignists coalition, the independent list of Mislav Kolakušić, the Živi Zid party, and the Amsterdam Coalition won one seat each. The voter turnout was 29.9%, up from 25.2% in the 2014 election.
Prime Minister Plenković admitted that he expected more votes. The elected MEP's of the HDZ list are Karlo Ressler, Dubravka Šuica, Tomislav Sokol and Željana Zovko. SDP President Davor Bernardić was satisfied with the results, which exceeded his expectations. The elected MEP's of the SDP are Biljana Borzan, Tonino Picula, Predrag Fred Matić and Romana Jerković. Jerković will take her seat after Brexit. Ruža Tomašić of the Croatian Sovereignists won the highest number of preferential votes and retained her seat in the parliament. The biggest surprise of the election was Kolakušić's independent list, which won 7.89% of the vote. Kolakušić announced a presidential campaign the day after the election.
Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, the president of the Živi zid party, won most preferential votes on his party list and a place in the parliament ahead of the slate leader, Tihomir Lukanić. The Amsterdam Coalition's main candidate, Valter Flego, won a seat in the parliament.
National summary of votes and seats
|Parties and coalitions||European party||Main candidate||Votes||%||+/–pp||Seats||+/–|
|Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)||EPP||Karlo Ressler||244,076||22.72||–18.70||4||±0|
|Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP)||PES||Tonino Picula||200,976||18.71||–11.22||4||+2|
|Croatian Sovereignists (HS)
• Croatian Growth (Hrast)
• Croatian Conservative Party (HKS)
• Croatian Party of Rights Dr. Ante Starčević (HSP AS)
• United Croatian Patriots (UHP)
|Mislav Kolakušić (Ind.)||NI||Mislav Kolakušić||84,765||7.89||New||1||New|
|Živi zid (ŽZ)||NI||Tihomir Lukanić||60,847||5.66||New||1||New|
|Amsterdam Coalition (A)
• Croatian Peasant Party (HSS)
• Civic Liberal Alliance (GLAS)
• Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS)
• Croatian Party of Pensioners (HSU)
• Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar (PGS)
• Democrats (D)
• Croatian Labourists (HL)
|Bridge of Independent Lists (Most)||None||Božo Petrov||50,257||4.67||New||0||New|
|Marijana Petir (Ind.)||EPP||Marijana Petir||47,358||4.40||0||–1|
|Independents for Croatia–Croatian Party of Rights (NHR–HSP)||None||Bruna Esih||46,970||4.37||New||0||New|
|Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS)||None||Milorad Pupovac||28,597||2.66||0||±0|
|Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS–LD)||ALDE||Matija Posavec||27,958||2.60||0||±0|
|Party of Anti-corruption, Development and Transparency (Start)||None||Dalija Orešković||21,744||2.02||New||0||New|
|Bandić Milan 365 - Labour and Solidarity Party (BM 365)||None||Martina Bienenfeld||21,175||1.97||New||0||New|
|Možemo!–Sustainable Development of Croatia (OraH)–New Left (NL)||EGP-GUE||Tomislav Tomašević||19,313||1.79||–7.63||0||–1|
|Pametno–Kvarner Union||ALDE||Ivica Puljak||15,074||1.40||New||0||New|
|Blank and invalid votes||29,597||2.68|
|Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout||3,696,907||29.86||4.74%|
|Source: State Election Committee|
Elected lists and candidates
|Members of the|
|6: HRAST - HKS - HSP AS - UHD||9: HDZ||12: HSS - GLAS - IDS - HSU -PGS - D - HL-SR||15: NLMK||28: SDP||33: ŽZ|
|* Ruža Tomašić
|* Karlo Ressler
* Dubravka Šuica
* Tomislav Sokol
* Željana Zovko
|* Valter Flego
|* Mislav Kolakušić
|* Biljana Borzan
* Tonino Picula
* Predrag Fred Matić
* Romana Jerković
|* Ivan Vilibor Sinčić|
List of elected MEPs
|MEP||Party||Number of preference votes||Share of preference votes on candidate's list||Term length|
|Ruža Tomašić||HKS||69,989||76.45%||1 July 2013 –|
|Mislav Kolakušić||Ind.||68,883||81.26%||2 July 2019 –|
|Biljana Borzan||SDP||64,736||32.21%||1 July 2013 –|
|Karlo Ressler||HDZ||52,859||21.65%||2 July 2019 –|
|Tonino Picula||SDP||50,921||25.33%||1 July 2013 –|
|Dubravka Šuica||HDZ||31,791||13.02%||1 July 2013 –|
|Valter Flego||IDS||21,228||38.03%||2 July 2019 –|
|Ivan Vilibor Sinčić||ŽZ||18,314||30.09%||2 July 2019 –|
|Predrag Matić||SDP||13,371||6.65%||2 July 2019 –|
|Željana Zovko||HDZ||9,861||4.04%||21 November 2016 –|
|Tomislav Sokol||HDZ||4,573||1.87%||2 July 2019 –|
|Romana Jerković||SDP||1,368||0.68%||2 July 2019 –|
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