The ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is on track to win six out of twelve MEP seats assigned to Croatia in the upcoming European election in May, the latest polling published by the European Parliament on Friday showed, with the liberal Amsterdam Coalition crossing the threshold and winning one seat.
According to projections, the centre-right HDZ, which is a member of the EPP group, is expected to win 30.7 percent of the vote, which translates to six seats in the new assembly, followed by the centre-left Social Democrats (SDP), members of the S&D alliance, with 19.2 percent of the vote and three MEP seats.
The remaining three seats would be evenly split between the anti-establishment party Zivi Zid (which had joined a new pan-European platform led by Italy's Five Star Movement) which is projected to win 10.2 percent of the vote, the liberal Amsterdam Coalition (affiliated with the ALDE group) with 7.7 percent of votes, and the conservative populist Most, with 6.8 percent of the vote.
Compared to the initial projections released in February, the liberal Amsterdam Coalition, a group of several smaller liberal parties, is now expected to enter parliament and win one seat, to the detriment of Zivi Zid, which would go down from two to one.
In May, candidates across Europe will compete for seats in the new 705-seat assembly, downsized from the current 751 due to United Kingdom's pending exit from the European Union. The upcoming removal of UK's 73 seats resulted in a new apportionment for the remaining 27 EU member countries, with Croatia's quota increased from 11 to 12 MEPs.
In the last election in May 2014, a HDZ-led conservative coalition had won six seats, a centre-left and liberal alliance won another five, with one remaining seat won by the green liberal party Orah, on the back of a brief surge of popularity at the time, when the party was led by a former prominent SDP member Mirela Holy.
The latest projection is based on polls conducted in each EU country and aggregated by the Kantar Public market research agency on behalf of the European Parliament.
Overall, the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) bloc is projected to become the largest group in the new assembly with 188 seats, followed by the centre-left Socialists and Democrats group (S&D) with 142 and the liberal alliance ALDE with 72 MEPs.