The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) secretary-general and parliament speaker, Gordan Jandrokovic, said on Monday that the result which the ruling party scored in the European Parliament election on Sunday was below-than-expected, however, the HDZ was still the first party that won the most ballots.
Coming to a session of the HDZ leadership in Zagreb, Jandrokovic said that the party bodies would analyse the outcome of the vote.
The HDZ and the strongest opposition party the SDP won four seats each out of a total of 12 seats allotted to Croatia in the European Parliament.
The HDZ mustered the support of 22.72% of the vote, and was followed by the SDP with 18.71%.
HDZ won the highest number of votes in Sunday's European Parliament elections in 11 cities whereas the SDP won in the four biggest cities --Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek. In the capital city of Zagreb, the SDP garnered about 47,700 votes and the HDZ 30,400.
Jandrokovic said that the poor performance of the party in big cities would be particularly analysed.
Ivana Maletic, an HDZ vice president and a deputy in the outgoing European Parliament, admitted that it was better to record under-performance in the EP elections than in parliamentary elections.
She also underscored that the HDZ was "short of only a few ballots" to win a fifth seat in the EP.
Asked by the press whether it was too risky to put a young and not well-known candidate (Karlo Ressler) in first place on the slate, Maletic said that that decision had been very courageous and resolute.
She believes that during the campaign Ressler gained publicity. According to the results, Ressler mustered nearly 53,000 preferential votes.
Asked by the press whether the HDZ should form a coalition with right parties, Maletic says that the HDZ definitely had to run in the EP elections on its own and without coalitions.
Some other party officials agreed that the HDZ had expected five seats and that despite the final result, the HDZ was again the strongest political option, mustering the the highest number of votes.