Croatian presidential election, 2009–2010: Wikis


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2005 Croatia Next
Croatian presidential election, 2009–2010
27 December 2009 and 10 January 2010
Ivo Josipović, Hypo centar (cropped).jpg Milan Bandić 2009.jpg
Nominee Ivo Josipović Milan Bandić
Party SDP Independent
Popular vote 1,339,385 883,222
Percentage 60.26% 39.74%
Croatia 2009 map results runoff.PNG
Results of the second round in all of Croatia's counties: the candidate with the majority of votes in each administrative division.
Josipović: red; Bandić: grey

Previous President
Stjepan Mesić

Ivo Josipović


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The first round of the fifth presidential election in Croatia was held on Sunday, December 27, 2009, with twelve candidates participating. The second round between first-round winner Ivo Josipović and first-round runner-up Milan Bandić was held on Sunday, January 10, 2010. Ivo Josipović won a landslide victory receiving 60.3% of the vote becoming the first elected president nominated by the Social Democratic Party of Croatia.[1]

The incumbent president (Stjepan Mesić) was ineligible for re-election so many candidates took the opportunity to vie for position of the head of state (the highest political office in the country, although the Prime Minister - Head of Government - wields most power). Most mainstream Croatian political parties participated in the election either by nominating a candidate or endorsing one, but major party official candidates alone did not dominate the campaign. The relatively low nomination threshold (ten thousand signatures in a country of four million voters), turmoil in the largest political party (Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ) due to the departure of long-time leader Ivo Sanader and the ongoing economic crisis, as well as a significant one-man revolt in the second-largest party (Social Democratic Party of Croatia, SDP), caused the first round of this election to field the largest number of candidates so far.

In the first election round, the voting body left of centre generally preferred three to four candidates, while the voting body right of centre generally split between five and six candidates. Because of the general left-leaning trend and increased fragmentation on the right, two candidates who were incidentally both long-time members of SDP came on top. The election polls accurately predicted the winner, while the runner-up projections were usually within a statistical margin of error, lifting many candidates' hopes and enabling a sense of drama stirred by the Croatian media.

The second election round was marked by somewhat more intense polarization, as it was to be expected in a two-way race. The Bandić campaign shifted their political message significantly to the right and kept attacking the opponent, as the Josipović campaign was put on the defense. However, a sudden reappearance of Sanader interrupted the election and cemented Josipović's advantage. In the end, Josipović won with a large margin.

Ivo Josipović was inaugurated as the third President of the Republic of Croatia on February 18, 2010.


Background and rules

The incumbent president Stjepan Mesić was ineligible to run after serving two five-year terms

After serving two consecutive five-year terms, the incumbent president Stjepan Mesić was not eligible to run in the 2009 election.

The elections officially began on 4 November, with the start of the period for the collecting of signatures needed to become an official candidate.[2] Each candidate had 12 days to collect 10,000 written signatures from citizens who are eligible to vote. After the 12 days expired, the signatures were verified and on November 18 the State Electoral Commission announced the 12 candidates that managed to collect the necessary amount of signatures. The next day the official 37-day campaign began and went until 24 hours before Election Day, which happened to be Christmas Day, midnight.

The first round was held on 27 December[3] and no candidate managed to obtain 50% + one vote, so a second round was held on 10 January 2010[3] between the two candidates that achieved the most votes, Ivo Josipović and Milan Bandić.

Each candidate could have withdrawn from the election at any time.

The campaign before the official start

Although officially the campaign started on 19 November, in reality it began as early as summer of 2009. The main political parties had not yet announced their nominees for president in the summer, but certain high-ranking politicians had expressed their interest in running very early.

The governing HDZ saw considerable drama in selecting their candidate for president. Ever since late 2008, there was much speculation that prime minister Ivo Sanader would run for the presidency, although he frequently denied such speculation.[4] After the local elections, the speculation grew as no other candidates publicly hinted they would run. However, Ivo Sanader unexpectedly decided not only to not run for the presidency, but to resign as prime minister and retire from active politics altogether, announcing his decision on 1 July 2009.[5]

Sanader nominated Andrija Hebrang as the party's candidate for president, a decision that was backed by the remainder of the party's presidency after a while,[6] but not before widespread rumours started about the HDZ member Nadan Vidošević, a prominent businessman, being the presidency's favorite candidate. Vidošević however rejected these claims.[7] Hebrang also hesitated before accepting the party nomination, explaining it with health reasons.[8] Vidošević formally announced his bid as an independent candidate on September 2, and was expelled from his party soon after that.[9] Also, Ivo Sanader was not the only member of the cabinet to resign as Minister of Education Dragan Primorac also announced his retirement on the very same day as the prime minister. There was much speculation that Primorac resigned as he was not his party's candidate for president and that he resigned so he could run as an independent. The speculation proved to be true and Primorac announced his candidacy on 9 November 2009.[10] He was then also ejected from HDZ membership.

The Social Democratic Party of Croatia also saw some controversy in the process of nominating a candidate. Immediately after the 2009 local elections and Milan Bandić's landslide victory in Zagreb as a candidate of the social democrats, there was much talk of his potential candidacy for president. Before the election, many influential members of SDP urged Zoran Milanović, the president of the party, to intervene and nominate someone other than Bandić, referring to numerous corruption and malversation allegations made against him during his tenure as the mayor of Zagreb.[11] However, Milanović denied the widespread rumours about internal turmoil and publicly supported Milan Bandić in the mayoral campaign,[12] making him the target of an open letter signed by many prominent left-wing intellectuals, in which they attacked Bandić and endorsed Josip Kregar.[13] Although Milanović dismissed these charges, SDP conspicuously put Bandić at the bottom of the electoral list for the city council, which prompted further accusations of hypocrisy from their opponents.[14]

On 20 June the SDP presidency chose two of their members of parliament as candidates for the SDP nomination: Ivo Josipović, a law professor and known jurist, and Ljubo Jurčić, an economics professor and former Minister of the Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship. Other candidates were allowed to be submitted, however, Milan Bandić refused.[15] On 12 July a primary election was held between the two social democrats and Ivo Josipović won with 64.78% of the vote from around ten thousand party members.[16][17]

However, the 'Bandić problem' escalated in the coming months as the media continued to speculate about his potential candidacy. Bandić started to travel throughout Croatia without a stated common agenda, and the press followed his every step and constantly asked him if he would run for the presidency. He consistently refused to comment, drawing more and more media attention with his indecisiveness.[18] Finally, the drama was concluded when he officially announced his candidacy for president in a speech on 5 November at 7 am on Sljeme criticizing Zoran Milanović and his former party for turning against him saying that he was one of the founders of SDP emphasizing that he stood with the party through the good and the bad times.[19] Bandić was automatically expelled from SDP, losing his position as a member of party's presidency and leader of the Zagreb branch of SDP.[20] Despite that, he declared on Croatian national television HRT that he still finds himself as true Social Democrat and that he'll proudly keep his SDP membership card nr. 2.

Round table discussion with the candidates. From left to right: Damir Kajin, Nadan Vidošević, Ivo Josipović, Andrija Hebrang, Vesna Pusić

By the time the nominations period started, most major political parties nominated their candidates for president:

The major independent candidates originating in the two largest parties are:

Several other candidates also had a history of association with major parties:

Political party candidates were selected within party elections, or were elected by party bodies, and they are the party's sole official candidates. All parliamentary parties have a policy to support only one candidate, and if their member announces an independent nomination, he or she automatically loses their party membership. Parliamentary parties that do not candidate their member for the president, usually publicly support someone. These parties can be listed on the electoral list for the president, but sometimes their support is just a public endorsement. Regional-right wing HDSSB supported independent candidate Milan Bandić, and regional-centrist PGS supported independent Nadan Vidošević.

After the election, the Constitution does not allow the President to be a member of any political party[21] so he or she must resign from membership, if there is one.

First round candidates

Out of 19 persons who submitted signatures to the State Electoral Commission, 13 of them were regular, but one of them withdrew. The following 12 candidates ran for Sunday, December 27, 2009, presidential elections.

Candidate Party affiliation Political remarks Proof of nomination Web site
Milan Bandić 2009.jpg Milan Bandić Independent member of SDP until nomination, running as an independent candidate a populist[22][23] platform Submitted around 60,000 received signatures to the electoral commission on November 13.[24]
Replace this image male.svg Andrija Hebrang Croatian Democratic Union centre-right platform Submitted around 140,600 received signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.[25]
Ivo Josipović, Hypo centar (cropped).jpg Ivo Josipović Social Democratic Party of Croatia centre-left platform focusing on justice Submitted around 117,000 received signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.[25]
Josip Jurčević srpanj 2008.jpg Josip Jurčević Independent a far right platform submitted 14,000 signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.
Replace this image male.svg Damir Kajin Istrian Democratic Assembly left wing platform focusing on anti-fascism and anti-establishment Submitted around 17,000 received signatures to the electoral commission on November 15.[26]
Replace this image male.svg Boris Mikšić Independent a right wing populist history[27] submitted 15,000 signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.
Replace this image male.svg Dragan Primorac Independent member of the HDZ until nomination, centre-right and a platform focusing on corruption Submitted around 35,000 received signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.[28]
Vesna Pusić 1.JPG Vesna Pusić Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats centre-left and liberal platform Submitted around 47,000 received signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.[29]
Replace this image female.svg Vesna Škare Ožbolt Independent running as an independent on a centrist platform, supported by DC submitted 18,000 signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.[30]
Replace this image male.svg Miroslav Tuđman Independent a right wing euro-sceptic platform submitted 18,000 signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.
Replace this image male.svg Nadan Vidošević Independent until nomination member of HDZ, running as an independent on a centrist platform focusing on the economy Submitted around 31,000 signatures until November 15.[31]
Replace this image male.svg Slavko Vukšić Democratic Party of Slavonia Plain regionalism submitted 12,500 signatures to the electoral commission on November 16.

Former first-round candidates


Valid candidates that withdrew

  • Veljko Džakula, the leader of a non-governmental organization Serbian Democratic Forum, entered the race[32] and became a candidate of three Croatian Serb parties: Serb People's Party, Democratic Party of Serbs and New Serb Party (Nova srpska stranka). He submitted 10,557 signatures to the electoral commission on November 16. However, he then withdrew on November 17.

Failed candidacies

  • Stjepan Gnječ, representing the Economy Party (Gospodarska stranka) [33] submitted 33,060 blank signature forms and was rejected.
  • Dean Golubić announced an independent candidacy[34] on a far right platform. He announced his withdrawal on 16 November.[35]
  • Sead Hasanović, better known as Braco Cigan, from Željko Malnar's TV-show Nightmare Stage, ran as an independent candidate.[36] He submitted around 6,000 signatures and was rejected.
  • Stjepan Kravarščan submitted only one signature to the electoral commission on November 13 and was rejected.[37]
  • Zahir Kurbašić was nominated by the Women's Democratic Party[38] but failed to ensure an official candidature.
  • Denis Latin, a popular Croatian TV journalist, announced his independent candidacy[39] on a liberal platform, but after several months he changed his mind.[40]
  • Slobodan Midžić submitted no signatures to the electoral commission saying that he "seeks to represent a president of the SFR Yugoslavia for the election of the president of the European Union".[37] Madžić had also failed to nominate himself for 2007 parliamentary elections since his electoral list held the name of League of Communists of Yugoslavia, the party that does not exist.[41]
  • Marija Štrajh, Croatian television host [42]
  • Jurica Tucak was the second person who came before electoral commission without signatures.[43]
  • Alka Vuica, a popular singer and songwriter, supported by Green List of Croatia[44] – received around 8,000 signatures [45] reporting that 1485 of her signatures were stolen and that she was offered to buy the rest of the missing votes.[46] She subsequently withdrew her nomination.
  • Božidar Vukasović announced an independent candidacy[47] running on an anti-corruption platform.[48] He announced his withdrawal on 16 November.

General election campaign

First round

The official campaign began on 19 November as the country's electoral commission announced the 12 candidates eligible to run. Andrija Hebrang collected more signatures than any other candidate with over 140,000, Ivo Josipović was second with just under 120,000, Milan Bandić collected around 60,000, Vesna Pusić just under 50,000, while Dragan Primorac and Nadan Vidošević each collected over 30,000 signatures.[49] At the beginning of the campaign, most polls showed Josipović with a healthy lead over his opponents.[50] Although Hebrang held the second spot in most opinion polls during the summer,[51] he fell to as low as fifth place by November.[50] He claimed opinion polls have never been kind to his party as most conservative voters refuse to participate in them and expressed conviction that come Election Day he will be the victor.[52] Despite Bandić's indecisiveness, he held second or third place in most polls during autumn.[50] After he officially announced his campaign, most political observers expected him to get a bump in the polls, however that never materialized. After announcing his candidacy he continuously dropped in the polls, but still managed to claim second or third place.[53] Nadan Vidošević led most polls during 2008 and early 2009, but never managed to take the lead after officially becoming a candidate.[54]

Josipović based his campaign on the slogan 'Justice for Croatia' and kicked off his campaign with a rally in front of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. He attacked the current Croatian government and the prime minister Jadranka Kosor for ignoring the needs of the little man and criticized her for not dealing with corruption.[55] Andrija Hebrang started the campaign with patriotic rhetoric with the slogan 'For a proud and European Croatia'.[56] He praised Jadranka Kosor and her policies, mostly criticizing Dragan Primorac and Nadan Vidošević for abandoning their party, calling them deserters and traitors of their party. He argued that he offered Primorac and Vidošević an opportunity to settle the question of who will be their party's nominee for president through a primary challenge stating that they both refused.[57]

A crowd listening to Ivo Josipović speak as he begins his campaign with a rally in Marshal Tito square in Zagreb

Nadan Vidošević used his knowledge of economic issues to gain popularity during the recession. He emphasized his business success during the 1990s as well as his post as the president of the Croatian Economic Chamber (CEC).[58] However, the press continuously raised the subject of his estate and property and how was he able to amass such an enormous wealth in a short period of time.[59] He usually responded saying that everything he has he built with hard work and smart business moves.[60] On 9 December Dragan Primorac accused Vidošević of nepotism, claiming that he employed three of his nephews in the CEC and that his secretary was related to him.[61] Vidošević responded by saying he does not need someone who hits women teaching him moral lessons referring to allegations made to Primorac long ago which claimed he beat his former partner.[62] Primorac accused Vidošević of lying and threatened a lawsuit if he did not apologize to him and his wife.[63] During a debate held on 10 December Primorac and Vidošević exchanged insults, Vidošević repeating his allegations and Primorac demanding an apology.[64] Finally, on 14 December Primorac announced he will be pressing charges against Vidošević claiming he caused great emotional damage to him and especially his wife.[63] Vidošević responded by saying Primorac would do anything to gain attention saying his campaign was falling apart.[63]

Milan Bandić avoided most debates saying he was a man of work, not of words.[65] Most political pundits, however, thought he was afraid of confronting the other candidates as he usually tends to perform badly in debates.[66] He based his campaign on the message that he was just one of the people, not an intellectual, but an ordinary hardworking patriot.[65] Vesna Pusić heavily emphasized her gender in the campaign claiming it was time for a woman to make it to Pantovčak.[67] Most commentators noticed she made the biggest change of image during the campaign out of all candidates claiming she lost her strict appearance of a professor becoming more accessible and open about her personal life.[68] She based her campaign on her liberal and pro-European positions as well as her foreign policy experience.[69]

The presentation of candidates on national television is customarily a contentious issue, with minor candidates complaining of lack of coverage and the major candidates complaining about dilution of campaign on fringe issues. Croatian Radiotelevision, as the public television operator, is legally obliged to give each candidate equal airtime, and they all got a half-hour interview in the late prime-time political show "Otvoreno".[70] There were three televised debates held in the first round.[71] The first was held on 20 November on HRT with 10 candidates present.[72] Andrija Hebrang and Boris Mikšić refused to attend claiming they were discriminated on all national television networks.[73] The second was held on 10 December on Nova TV hosted by Mislav Bago. Five candidates that were ahead in the polls were present, Ivo Josipović, Nadan Vidošević, Andrija Hebrang, Dragan Primorac and Vesna Pusić. Milan Bandić refused to attend.[74] The main topics were the fight against corruption, the economy and the European Union.[74] A poll conducted after the debate showed Vesna Pusić won the debate with 30% of those polled responding she did best, with Ivo Josipović coming in second with 26%. The poll also showed Ivo Josipović was the most specific in his answers with Vesna Pusić following closely. The audience considered Nadan Vidošević the most likable and Andrija Hebrang the most entertaining.[75] The final debate was once again held on HRT on 22 December and was the first and only one with all 12 candidates present. The main topics of discussion were campaign spending, corruption and the suggestion of removing political immunity.[76] There were four debates planned with the final one to be held on Nova TV on 23 December with six major candidates to be present.[71] However, the six candidates behind in the polls objected saying they were discriminated by Nova TV, particularly Josip Jurčević who threatened to sue the television station and filed a complaint against it to the country's electoral commission.[77] Finally, Nova TV canceled the scheduled debate and called for the change of Croatia's laws concerning media coverage of presidential campaigns.[78]

First round endorsements

First round expense summary

By Croatian law all presidential candidates are required to publicly disclose the amount they have raised and spent throughout the official campaign. They submit it through a standardized form to the State Election Committee (Croatian: Državno izborno povjerenstvo, DIP).

The first set of statistics were reported by the candidates before the final week of the campaign. The final amounts were reported to the DIP with the final deadline of January 25, 2010, and will be reported in Narodne novine.

In addition to the input statistics, two Croatian NGOs GONG (an association that oversees elections, whose name used to mean Croatian: Građani organizirano nadgledaju glasovanje) and Transparency International Hrvatska have decided to hire a media analysis agency which calculated the amount of money that was necessarily spent on advertising on television, radio and print media. They point out that this is only the observable media spending, while they estimate actual cost to be in excess of twice the amount spent on the media.

All numbers are in Croatian kunas.

Candidate (Party) Amount raised

- until December 19 (DIP)[100]

Amount spent

- until December 20 (GONG)[101]

Amount spent on HRT - total[102] Total amount spent (DIP) Votes Average spent per vote
  Andrija Hebrang (HDZ) 4,703,778 1,833,881 619,512 6,379,846[103] 237,998 26.8
  Nadan Vidošević (I) 4,422,100 2,800,924 1,607,440 6,823,266[104] 223,892 30.5
  Milan Bandić (I) 3,865,551 5,275,338 4,149,785 see second round expense summary
  Dragan Primorac (I) 3,787,000 4,176,064 1,314,518 3,853,407[105] 117,154 32.9
  Boris Mikšić (I) 2,928,767 31,053 156,456 3,247,163[106] 41,491 78.3
  Ivo Josipović (SDP) 2,866,648 1,792,131 645,345 see second round expense summary
  Vesna Pusić (HNS-LD) 1,914,870 236,921 211,343 1,977,725[107] 143,190 13.8
  Miroslav Tuđman (I) 1,084,000 51,077 345,517 1,000,279[108] 80,784 12.4
  Vesna Škare Ožbolt (I) 1,035,000 121,485 157,462 1,057,345[109] 37,373 28.3
  Damir Kajin (IDS) 479,900 62,937 191,326 590,624[110] 76,411 7.7
  Slavko Vukšić (I) 217,000 undisclosed 31,980 refused to submit information 8,309 N/A
  Josip Jurčević (I) 133,000 20,144 71,955 171,700[111] 54,177 3.2

Second round

Immediately after the official results were published shortly after midnight 28 December and it was clear the two candidates to face in a runoff would be Josipović and Bandić all the major candidates gave their speeches. Josipović called for voters to vote for the light, not for the dark,[112] while Bandić insulted Josipović saying he was a pawn of Zoran Milanović and nothing more than his remote-control.[113] The following morning the official campaign for the second round began. Josipović denied being an SDP project calling himself independent and accusing Bandić of being a remote-control of Ivo Sanader,[114] referring among other things to claims by Dragan Primorac that Bandić was the favorite of the former prime minister.[115][116] Bandić denied the rumors, however the following day the media published a story claiming that Bandić and Sanader had a secret lunch that very day in a Zagreb restaurant. Bandić denied the rumors calling the journalists who published the story liars, saying the media's favorite is Josipović and that they would do anything to discredit him.[117]

On Monday 28 December, the first day of the runoff campaign, the incumbent president Stjepan Mesić indicated that he supports Ivo Josipović to be his successor. He praised his manifesto and said Croatia needs a president working actively against corruption and for justice.[118] He also insulted Milan Bandić saying it was impossible he only spent 3 million kuna for the campaign saying he knows how much a campaign costs. He plead for more transparency and called on him to release the names of those who were really financing his campaign. Bandić responded by saying that Mesić hasn't released the names of his donors to this day and that he was a part of both of his campaigns so he knows how nontransparent they were.[119] Mesić called Bandić a liar saying he was the only one in those days to release the name of every single person who contributed to his victory. He said his campaign reports were published, on Croatian, not English, clearly referring to the fact that Bandić couldn't speak proper English.[120] He also suggested there could be one debate held entirely in English, mocking Bandić since he previously claimed he speaks the language.[121] Bandić responded saying he would be glad to attend that debate only if Mesić was moderating it, referring to the fact that the president himself was also not an English speaker. He also called the president an 'old man' saying it was only natural he forgot about the help he provided him during his two campaigns.[122]

Volunteers for the Josipović campaign

On 29 December Josipović gave a speech on an SDP convention held in Rijeka where he said that with the following presidential election the political map of Croatia would change forever and that by the next parliamentary election Croatia would be colored red, referring to his party's official colour being red.[123] Bandić did not waste time and the next day attacked Josipović arguing that the next president should not be biased once again repeating his claim that Josipović is nothing more than a pawn of Zoran Milanović who would work in his benefit if he should win.[124] The prime minister Jadranka Kosor also criticized Josipović's remarks as unfitting.[125]

The first two second-round debates were held on the same evening, 30 December, the first on HRT starting a couple of minutes after 8 p.m., and the second on Nova TV starting a couple of minutes before 10 p.m. During the debates Josipović emphasized his untarnished political carrier as well as his knowledge of the law and the Constitution. He defended himself from attacks made by Bandić earlier in the week that he was one of those responsible for writing criminal indictments against Croatia's generals during the war, denouncing the claims as flat-out lies, saying that he offered legal aid to captured Croatian soldiers during the war.[126]

The most direct attack by Bandić on Josipović came at the very end of the first debate when he accused him of damaging the city of Zagreb in 1998 by allegedly abusing his position as the head of the oversight board of a savings bank Zlatica[127] to make a series of financial maneuvers that enabled him to collect his deposit of 138,000 Deutsche Marks from the bank Komercijalna banka that had been blocked and later went bankrupt. Bandić cited a court ruling from 2006 that had invalidated those maneuvers.[128] Josipović defended himself saying that was merely a civil case which he was not even a part of and that he did not commit any illegal actions.[129] Josipović also had to defend his damaging quotation that Croatia would be coloured red by the next election, saying that it was only natural for a political party to be ambitious saying he does not consider the remarks to be unfitting repeating once again that, if elected, he would be the president of all citizens.[130]

The issue of whom Ivo Sanader supports unexpectedly escalated when Sanader announced he was returning to active politics at a Sunday, January 3 press conference,[131] which resulted in a blitz uproar among the coalition partners, and subsequently his ejection from the HDZ party. President Mesić attacked Bandić saying the former prime minister returned to support him, trying to once again link Bandić to the most unpopular politician in the country.[132] Bandić denied such claims calling them lies and distractions and once again accused Josipović of being a pawn of Zoran Milanović.[133] At the same time, Bandić's ally Željko Kerum publicly stated that Ivo Sanader would be an "ideal president",[134] but afterwards he backtracked somewhat, while repeating his well-known attitude on how the media is biased against him and Bandić.[135]

Milan Bandić heavily used religion as an issue in the campaign, calculating that Josipović's agnosticism would be a turn-off for a largely Catholic country as Croatia. He constantly repeated the only one he fears is God and that he was raised as a true believer and a humble Christian, also making claims that he has the support of the Catholic Church.[136] Josipović largely ignored Bandić's attempts saying he would be the president of all Croatians no matter their religious beliefs. The incumbent president Stjepan Mesić was elected twice despite his atheism.[137] However, the Bandić campaign used all tactics to force the issue, even distributing fliers in front of churches after the Sunday mass across the country urging believers to choose between the cross and a red star, referencing communism.[138]

One of the posters of the Bandić campaign. The message roughly translates: 'Choose: A party or an independent president?' A picture of a remote-control is shown in the lower-left corner referencing Bandić's accusation that Josipović is a pawn on a remote-control of his party

Eventually, Josipović responded to the other side's discrediting tactics based on religion as well as the savings fund affair by raising the issue of how Bandić had divorced his wife in 1996 and because of that managed to buy out another apartment from the government with a discount,[139] claiming Bandić violated the most sacred sacrament of marriage with the intent of making profit.[140] Bandić responded in outrage saying he went through great emotional pain during his divorce saying Josipović was not a man unless he apologized.[141]

On 3 January the third debate took place, hosted by RTL Televizija. The main topics were the return of former prime minister Ivo Sanader to the political scene, the economy, taxes and foreign relations, especially with Slovenia. Bandić once again repeated he was a man of work who would do anything for the people, while Josipović demonstrated his knowledge of law and foreign policy.[142] On the next day, the results of a second set of election polls were published, showing Bandić made some gains, but Josipović's support was mostly unchanged.[143][144]

The Josipović campaign released a list of 20 Croatian generals who allegedly supported him in the second round.[145] This endorsement was subsequently used in campaign advertisements by Josipović. One of these generals, Nojko Marinović, denied any participation in the endorsement, calling it a "coarse manipulation".[146] Petar Janjić-Tromblon was also listed and he released a statement denying his support, saying he "doesn't want to be part of their games".[147] The name of Tihomir Blaškić was also floated in the media in this context. Josipović was confronted about it during the third debate, and he claimed that the disavowals were made because of peer pressure. The Bandić campaign also released their own list of associations of Croatian defenders who allegedly supported him in the second round,[148] including the Association of the 105th Brigade of the Croatian National Guard, but the war-time commander of the 105th Brigade of the Croatian Army Stjepan Ivanić came forward to state that their association was both named and listed wrongly and said that their members were "appalled by the disinformation".[149]

The Bandić campaign created a negative campaign television ad that used a recording of Josipović's words, but after the Josipović campaign complained, the State Election Committee banned it as a violation of campaign rules, while Bandić campaign complained of censorship.[150] They eventually released a modified version of the same ad, just avoiding the use of Josipović's own voice.

The January 7 debate on Nova TV was held at 21:45, moderated once again by Mislav Bago. The two candidates had a somewhat more intense exchange regarding most issues previously discussed in the campaign. They once again compared tenure in the League of Communists of Croatia and SDP, their personal properties as well as moral values. Josipović called on Bandić to compare their physical and stock properties in court, which the latter refused. There was some talk of endorsements, and some reflections on talking points. They finished in a more cordial tone with the mention of future private visits as well as family pets.

The last debate occurred on January 8 on HRT, moderated by Branimir Bilić. Most common topics were covered once again, ending with some larger themes of international politics such as global warming and the inequality of the third world.

Second round endorsements

Notable abstentions

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) stated that they will not endorse any candidate in the second round,[189] and have censored local branches that attempted to explicitly endorse Bandić. This happened to HDZ's mayor of Zadar Zvonimir Vrančić who first endorsed him[190] but later disclaimed official support,[191] and also to the HDZ branch of Makarska[192] which also retracted their support under threat of sanction.[191]

The Catholic Church in Croatia claimed that they're neutral in this; the Croatian Bishops' Conference has not endorsed anyone. But, there are some signs of subtle pro-Bandić attitude: Croatian archbishop Josip Bozanić was visited by Milan Bandić in the Archbishop's office on January 2.[193] The editor of the official church gazette Glas Koncila Ivan Miklenić, otherwise known as a vocal critic of President Mesić, did not endorse any candidate and instead expressed disappointment with both candidates,[194] but later made statements that were interpreted to favor Bandić.[195] During the campaign, numerous minor violations related to Church members were observed by GONG, in favor of Bandić.[196]

Many first-round candidates endorsed the second-round candidates, but some made public statements regarding the second round but did not endorse. Dragan Primorac made several public statements - he initially tried to stay completely neutral,[116] but later released one where he listed some characteristics of the future president that he would want, without naming a candidate, but focusing on the fight against corruption. The reception was mixed – Večernji list said he chose no one,[197] while Jutarnji list said that he chose Josipović, reading between the lines.[198] The Josipović campaign later decided to include Primorac in their endorsement list[157] and Primorac did not seem to come forward with a public rebuttal. On the other hand, Josip Jurčević made a late public statement telling voters to void their ballot.[199]

Expense summary including the second round

These following amounts were submitted to the DIP before the final week of the campaign. The rest will be delivered and published after the second round. The amount spent calculation was done by GONG and TIH for the same period.

All numbers are in Croatian kunas.

Candidate (Party) Amount raised

- until January 3 (DIP)[200]

Amount spent

- until January 3 (GONG)[201]

Total amount spent (DIP)[202] Votes Average spent per vote
  Milan Bandić (I) 6,986,061 9,589,142.60 15,278,984[203] 883,222 17.3
  Ivo Josipović (SDP) 4,753,082 3,937,365.20 8,950,325[204] 1,339,385 6.7

Summary of the results

e • d  Summary of the 27 December 2009 Croatian presidential election results
Candidates First round Runoff
Candidate Sustaining Party Votes % Votes %
Ivo Josipović Social Democratic Party of Croatia 640,594 32.42 1,339,385 60.26
Milan Bandić Independent 293,068 14.83 883,222 39.74
Andrija Hebrang Croatian Democratic Union 237,998 12.04
Nadan Vidošević Independent 223,892 11.33
Vesna Pusić Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats 143,190 7.25
Dragan Primorac Independent 117,154 5.93
Miroslav Tuđman Independent 80,784 4.09
Damir Kajin Istrian Democratic Assembly 76,411 3.87
Josip Jurčević Independent 54,177 2.74
Boris Mikšić Independent 41,491 2.1
Vesna Škare-Ožbolt Independent 37,373 1.89
Slavko Vukšić Democratic Party of Slavonia Plain 8,309 0.42
Valid votes: 1,954,441 98.94 2,222,607 98.64
Invalid votes: 20,890 1.06 30,547 1.36
Turnout: 1,975,909 43.96 2,253,570 50.13
Expected voters: 4,495,233 4,495,528

The percentages of votes from each candidate are calculated from number of valid voters
The percentages of valid and invalid votes are calculated from the turnout number
The turnout percentage is calculated from the number of expected voters

Source: State Election Committee (Državno izborno povjerenstvo) First round official results Second round official results

First round result analysis

Results of the first round
Results of the first round in all of Croatia's counties: the candidate with the plurality of votes in each administrative division.     Josipović      Hebrang      Kajin

The first round of the election saw the lowest turnout of any presidential election in Croatia's history with only 43.96% of all the citizens eligible to vote participating in the election compared to 50.57% five years ago and 62.98% ten years ago. Most political observers noted the public's increasing distrust in politicians and the political system as the main reason for the low turnout.[205]

Nationwide, Ivo Josipović obtained 32% and Milan Bandić 14%, meaning the two of them combined achieved less support than Stjepan Mesić did in 2005 in the first round only. The fact that there were only three actual left-leaning candidates meant the left was relatively united under Josipović, while the votes of the right were spread out on several prominent candidates, including Bandić, which was one of the reasons why no right wing candidate managed to qualify for a run-off. As such, this election became historic as a run-off would feature two candidates once in the same party, Josipović, who rejoined SDP a year before the election, and Bandić, who left SDP a month before the election so he could run as an independent.

The candidate of the governing centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) Andrija Hebrang came in third with 12% of the vote, a result noticeably better than most polls had predicted, but still seen by many as a debacle for HDZ as he achieved the lowest ever result for the party on a national level and also became their first presidential candidate not to secure a second round since Mate Granić in 2000. Nadan Vidošević, who was seen by many as a front-runner for the presidency in the beginning of the year,[206] came in fourth with 11% of the vote. Dragan Primorac was the third prominent right-wing candidate who invested huge sums in his campaign,[207] but in the poll he achieved only 6%, lower than what many polls had predicted. Primorac was indeed surpassed even by the centre-left candidate Vesna Pusić who was fifth, obtaining 7.25%.

No other candidate achieved more than 5% on a national level. Left-wing Damir Kajin made a decent showing in his home county, but was nevertheless surpassed by the right-wing Miroslav Tuđman in the overall tally. Slavko Vukšić's final number of votes was even smaller than the number of signatures that originally supported his nomination.[208]

Josipović carried all 21 counties except for two, the Lika–Senj County which was carried by Andrija Hebrang and the Istria County carried by Damir Kajin.[209] He also won the all major cities including the capital of Croatia, Zagreb, a sort of embarrassment for Bandić who is the mayor of the city. Bandić had won the Zagreb local elections, 2009 with almost 150,000 votes just seven months prior, but with a turnout of 41.69%/33.62% and under the SDP banner.[210] This time he won only some 59,000 votes or 15.64% in Zagreb, with a local turnout of 52.40%.[211]

First round election night

As all the polls around the country closed at 7 p.m., the first exit polls were published by the major television networks. They showed Ivo Josipović easily claiming first place, but failing to obtain an outright majority winning 32%. The polls showed Milan Bandić, Andrija Hebrang and Nadan Vidošević in a statistical tie with each of them achieving 14%, 12% and 11% respectively.[212] Andrija Hebrang's third place was seen as a great success as most opinion polls before the first round showed him with only single-digit approval, while Nadan Vidošević's placing was seen as a disappointment since most polls before the vote showed him battling for second place with Milan Bandić.[213] The polls predicted Vesna Pusić and Dragan Primorac would be the only other candidates to pass 5% with each of them collecting 7% and 5% respectively.[214] In 2007, during the parliamentary election, all exit polls predicted SDP would narrowly win, when in the reality HDZ turned out as the victor.[215] With that in mind, Andrija Hebrang expressed conviction that when actual results were published, he would overtake Bandić and qualify for second round. He claimed that exit polls do not take into account the votes coming from the citizens living abroad and that conservative voters do not participate in exit polls as much as liberal voters.[216] However, the exit polls predicted the outcome almost perfectly as the country's electoral commission's results later confirmed.[217]

Ivo Josipović gave a short speech after the exit polls were announced saying he was confident the official results would match the results they predicted. After the official results were published, he gave a victory speech shortly after midnight thanking his colleagues and especially his voters for their support and expressed conviction he would be the victor once again two weeks later. He said the citizens of Croatia have a choice between the light and the dark, with him being the light, referring to his untarnished political record, and Bandić being the dark, referring to his allegations of corruption.[112] Milan Bandić arrived to his campaign headquarters just a couple of minutes before midnight and just a couple of minutes after the results were announced he gave his speech. He congratulated all the other candidates and said a new race began that night. He said he would be an independent president, not a remote-control of Zoran Milanović and accused Josipović of being a project of the highest ranking members of SDP. He claimed Croatia needs a president that works for them, not for his party.[113] While he was speaking, most television networks were showing scenes from Josipović headquarters in the corner, with Milanović observing Bandić's remarks. During the middle of his speech, right when Bandić was bashing his former party and its leader, Josipović came to the stage and all television stations switched to hear what he had to say.[218]

Andrija Hebrang accused his party's dissidents, Vidošević and Primorac, as well as most right-wing candidates for 'stealing' his votes saying the result was that two left-wingers would face-off in the second round. Despite this, he called the election a great victory of the right claiming that right-leaning candidates combined achieved better results that left-leaning candidates combined.[219] In making this assertion, he failed to consider Bandić as left-leaning, and ignored Vidošević's appeal to the left-leaning voters as well. Vidošević conceded defeat saying that one should never blame his failures on others, but himself. He urged the public to continue believing in a better tomorrow saying that Croatia should be a country of knowledge and justice, not of corruption and divisiveness.[220] Pusić gave a short teary speech calling Croatia a country with a lot of potential with only the right leadership. She also noted that no government would ever be able to win without the support of HNS.[221] Primorac said he would be forming a new party which would be independent from both HDZ and SDP and said he saw a bright future for Croatia.[222]

This election night also saw great drama with the war of the television networks. Nova TV and RTL Televizija organized the exit polls together and offered HRT to participate, however HRT refused claiming they were unaware exit polls would be permitted as electoral silence lasted until midnight. HRT showed the results of the exit polls during their prime-time news show Dnevnik. Nova TV and RTL Televizija objected and demanded HRT to pay for distributing their polls.[223]

Second round result analysis

Results of the second round

The first round of the election saw the lowest turnout for any Croatian presidential election ever, so many political pundits at the beginning of the runoff campaign predicted an even lower turnout for the second round. However, as the campaign started to become more heated and the electoral body more divided, it was evident the runoff election would have a greater turnout than the first round. The increase in turnout was 277,661 people, of which 268,166 cast valid votes. Overall, 50.13% of citizens who are eligible to vote fulfilled their public right. That's a little more than 6 percentage points higher turnout than the first round and on pair with five years ago, but 10 percentage points less than 10 years ago and the lowest turnout for a runoff presidential election ever.

Nationwide, Ivo Josipović achieved 1,339,385 votes, or 60.26%, while Milan Bandić won 883,222 votes, or 39.74%. Most polls before the election were showing Josipović with a hefty double-digit lead, but never as much as 20 percentage points as he achieved during the election. The difference between the two candidates came as a surprise to many pundits and analysts for two reasons: the polls usually favor the more liberal candidate since left-leaning voters tend to participate in opinion polls more than conservative voters; and the fact that most polls before the election didn't include the votes from the citizens living abroad, which was expected to be a strong boost for Bandić come Election Day. Nevertheless, the final result is similar to the result of the last several polls when only the certain voters were taken into account, which may indicate that few undecided voters actually went to the polls in the second round.

Josipović won all Croatian counties except for the Lika-Senj county, the least populated Croatian county. Similarly, he won all cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants and all cities that are county seats, except for Gospić, which is also the smallest. The capital city Zagreb was also won by Josipović, with a margin that was slightly higher than the national average. Bandić was unsuccessful in the majority of Zagreb boroughs, but he did win Lika and the extraterritorial electoral unit, where the majority of votes came from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The closest margins were in the traditional right-wing strongholds in parts of Slavonia and Dalmatia.

According to the exit polls Josipović won more than 90% of Vesna Pusić's voters and 70% of Nadan Vidošević's voters. He also managed to consolidate the traditionally centre-left voters winning 90% of his party's as well as more than 80% of HNS voters and more than 70% of the centrist HSLS and centre-right HSS voters, at the same time appealing to every fourth HDZ voter. Bandić won almost 80% of all Hebrang voters as well as 57% of Primorac's voters and obtained 3 quarters of all HDZ voters, confirming the assumption that Bandić mostly appealed to the right.[224]

The result was not received particularly well by the Church gazette Glas Koncila editor Ivan Miklenić, who stated Josipović's legitimacy, but first pointed out that he was elected by less than a third of the total population, and claimed that he was supported by "obscure power centers". He concluded that the election is the result of a policy of continuation and "not a democratic breakthrough".[225] The secular Jutarnji list editor Davor Butković lambasted that opinion, saying he was personally a Catholic but was offended by the notion that the Church would undermine the election result. Having a third of the electorate's votes is not relevant because not even the late Franjo Tuđman or even any single Government was ever elected with more than a half of the electorate. He concluded by asking why the Church is "insulting its faithful who voted for Josipović" and saying that as long as this kind of a stance persists, the Croatian churches will "remain empty other than on major holidays".[226] The secular Večernji list chief commentator Milan Ivkošić once again called on Josipović to stay away from former President Mesić's "selective finger-pointing" which in his opinion particularly impacted the President's relations with Kaptol, in addition to a perceived "complaisance in the defence of Croatian national interests". He also noted that the new President remains "marked" by his agnosticism in relation to the right-wing voting body, but called on the Croatians to determine a basic consensus and avoid any accusations of "treason".[227] Josipović indeed explicitly stated that he "will not step into that whole polemic" and that he has no comment.[228]

Second round election night

Ivo Josipović prepares to give a victory speech after it was announced he would be the next president

When the polls around the country closed at 19:00 RTL and Nova TV published the results of the exit polls conducted by Ipsos PULS. They predicted a landslide win for Josipović, giving him an advantage of almost 30 percentage points, significantly larger than all of the second-round polls. This shifted much of the political commentary and rendered much of the expected drama moot. The Josipović headquarters started celebrating immediately after the polls closed claiming that the difference is too large for Bandić to overcome and the exit polls don't feature such a large statistical margin of error. The Bandić campaign said they'll wait for official results, but admitted it would be very hard for Bandić to overtake Josipović's 30 point lead even when the votes from abroad were tallied. The exit polls predicted the outcome well as the ratio between the two candidates was 9 to 1 for Bandić abroad, where there were no exit polls, which narrowed Josipović's victory to a final difference of 21 percentage points.

After the official results were announced at midnight it was evident that Ivo Josipović was elected the third president of the Republic. He gave a victory speech shortly after thanking everybody who voted for him, but also saying he would be the president of all, not just the left. He called his victory a step in the right direction and said he would work hard for justice and a better Croatia.[229] Josipović did not finish his acceptance speech before Bandić started his concession speech, using the opportunity to decry "hate, contempt and intolerance from everyone" towards him.[230][231][232] The Bandić self-victimization was ultimately not well received by both the voters and the media.[233]

During election night, Milanović gave an interview to the three major television networks where he congratulated Ivo Josipović and called on Jadranka Kosor to hold a meeting with him where they would discuss the major political differences between their two parties and find a way to agree on how to help the economy further.[234] The prime minister responded the very same night when she congratulated Josipović saying she invited the opposition leader for a coffee over six months ago claiming he refused.[235] Milanović responded the next day by saying he doesn't want finger-pointing, but a constructive discussion about jobs, the budget and tax reform. They came to an agreement the following week and they held a meeting on 21 January.[236]

Although HRT admitted they crossed the line two weeks ago when they reported the results of the exit polls conducted by RTL and Nova TV, they once again 'borrowed' the results for the second round election night. This caused a stir within HRT against the main editor of the news program Hloverka Novak-Srzić who was faced with scandals long before the election night incident. Finally, exactly nine days after the election, on 19 January, she was released of her duties as chief editor.[237]

Opinion polls

Exit polls second round

Candidate Party Ipsos PULS
for RTL and Nova
Ivo Josipović SDP 64.6%
Milan Bandić Independent 35.4%

Before the second round of vote

Candidate 28 Dec 2009
Puls for Nova TV[238]
29 Dec 2009
Totus Opiniometar[239]
30 Dec 2009
Cro Demoskop[240]
2–4 Jan 2010
Media Metar[143]
4 Jan 2010
Promocija Plus[144]
4–5 Jan 2010
Puls for RTL Televizija and Večernji list[241]
7 Jan 2010
Totus Opiniometar[242]
7 Jan 2010
  Ivo Josipović (SDP) 56.3% 52.5% 53.5% 55.2% 54.5% 55.8% 52.6% 52.3%
  Milan Bandić (I) 31.6% 14.7% 33.7% 44.8% 37.1% 39.5% 23.8% 35.6%
  remainder 12.1% 32.8% 12.9% / 8.4% 4.4% 23.6% 12%

Exit polls first round

Candidate Party Ipsos PULS
for RTL and Nova
Ivo Josipović SDP 32.7%
Milan Bandić Independent 14.1%
Andrija Hebrang HDZ 12.1%
Nadan Vidošević Independent 11.7%
Vesna Pusić HNS-LD 7.6%
Dragan Primorac Independent 5.8%
Damir Kajin IDS 4.1%
Miroslav Tuđman Independent 3.5%
Josip Jurčević Independent 2.6%
Boris Mikšić Independent 2%
Vesna Škare Ožbolt Independent 1.6%
Slavko Vukšić DSSR 0.6%

Before the first round of vote

Date(s) Conducted Polling Organisation/Client Ivo Josipović Milan Bandić Nadan Vidošević Andrija Hebrang Vesna Pusić Dragan Primorac Vesna Škare Ožbolt Damir Kajin Josip Jurčević Miroslav Tuđman Boris Mikšić Slavko Vukšić Undecided / none
23 Dec International Institute Ifimes 24.1% 9.8% 13.3% 7.1% 6.9% 6.6% 0.2% 1.1% 0.5% 1.5% 0.4% 0.1% 28.4%
23 Dec Puls for Večernji list and RTL Televizija 31.9% 16.8% 13.1% 8.1% 6.1% 7.9% 2.7% 3.1% 1.0% 2.7% 1.0% 0.6% 5%
22 Dec Mediana Fides for Jutarnji list 24.8% 11.9% 9.4% 6.4% 7.8% 6.7% NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
22 Dec Puls for Nova TV 31% 17.4% 11.9% 9.3% 6.4% 7.9% 2.5% 3% 1.6% 2% 1% 0.6% 5.5%
22 Dec Totus Opiniometar 19% 9.5% 14.2% 7% 4.6% 3% 0.2% 1.4% 0.6% 1.5% 0.4% 0.2% 26.7% / 11.4%
17 Dec Puls for T-portal 29.3% 12.2% 13.9% 7.6% 7.2% 10.4% 1.2% 2.7% 2.3% 2.3% 2% 1% 9.8%
17 Dec Totus Opiniometar 19.2% 6.3% 13.5% 6.8% 5.5% 3.3% 1.2% 2.2% 0.7% 0.7% 0.4% 0.2% 40%
14 Dec Puls for SDP 29.6% 11.8% 14.3% 7.1% 8.2% 10.6% 2.1% 2.3% 2.1% 2.4% 0.4% 0.2% 10%
9 Dec Puls for SDP 30.4% 13% 12% 8.7% 5.1% 9.8% 2% 4.1% 2.4% 2% 0.2% 0.1% 10%
9 Dec Promocija Plus for HDZ 30% 13% 12% 11% N/A 8% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 Dec CRO Demoskop (Promocija plus) 26.2% 16.2% 15.3% 7.8% 7% 8.6% 1.7% 3.4% 1% 1.8% 0.4% 0.2% 10.4%
30 Nov Puls for Nova TV 25.3% 16.6% 16% 7.9% 5.8% 5.1% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% <5% 9.5%
28 Nov Puls for Večernji list and RTL Televizija 29.2% 15.6% 13.2% 7.7% 4.8% 8.5% 2.6% 3.2% 1.5% 3.4% 0.4% 0.5% 9.4%
25 Nov Totus Opiniometar 16.1% 7.2% 13.8% 3.1% 2.5% 4.7% 0.6% 1.6% 1% 0.6% N/A N/A 33%
Start of the official campaign
19 Nov Mediana Fides for Jutarnji list 27.6% 15.4% 12.7% 8.4% 6.0% 8.1% N/A 2.2% N/A 1.2% 1.1% N/A N/A
17 Nov Puls for T-Portal 28.1% 15.8% 14.4% 12.2% 7.2% 5.2% 1.1% 1.8% 1.3% 0.8% 0.3% N/A 11.4%
17 Nov Puls for Nova TV 26.4% 15.7% 14.9% 11.6% 8.6% 6.8% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 14.5%
4 Nov CRO Demoskop (Promocija plus) 24.9% 14.5% 13.4% 9.4% 8.6% <4% <4% <4% N/A N/A N/A N/A 13.3%
4 Nov Totus Opiniometar 17.2% 9.7% 14.6% 5% 5.1% 2.2% 0.6% 1.6% 0.7% 1.1% N/A N/A 43.6%
31 Oct GfK for Jutarnji list 17.1% 15.2% 11.9% 9% 4.4% 3.9% 1.5% 3.5% N/A 0.6% 0.6% N/A 45%
31 Oct Puls for Nova TV 24.6% 17.6% 13.1% 11% 6.8% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 9.1%
28 Oct Puls for T-Portal 28.5% 13.6% 12.7% 10.7% 7.2% 4.2% 4.6% 4.3% 2.3% 1.6% N/A N/A 10.5%
18 Oct Puls for Večernji list 26.6% 11.3% 10.8% 8% 9.2% 4.4% 5.9% 5% 1.3% 0.8% 1% N/A 10.5%
18 Sep Mediana for Jutarnji list 21.1% 14.7% 15% 8.3% 11% 3.3% N/A 4.5% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
11 Sep Sinergie for SDP 26.4% 6.7% 13% 7.1% 4.4% N/A 4.2% 3.3% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1 Sep Puls for Nova TV 32.9% N/A 12.8% 7.3% 9.7% N/A N/A 6.9% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
26 Aug Promocija plus for SDP 25% 10.5% 10.5% 12% 9.5% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 32.5%
24 Aug Hendal for Tportal 25.8% 10% 9.3% 4% 7.5% 1.3% N/A 3.3% 1.8% 2.3% 2.3% N/A 31.3%
3 Aug CRO Demoskop (Promocija plus) 22.1% N/A 14.1% 11.1% 11.8% N/A N/A 4.8% 6.3% 2% N/A N/A 15.8%

Hypothetical second round match-ups

Candidate Party 17 Nov 2009
Puls for Nova TV[244]
19 Nov 2009
Mediana Fides

for Jutarnji list[245]

28 Nov 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[246]
22 Dec 2009
Puls for Nova TV[247]
23 Dec 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[248]
  Ivo Josipović SDP 54% 47.4% 55% 53% 58.2%
  Milan Bandić Independent 42% 36.1% 35% 36% 32.2%
  remainder 4% 16.5% 10% 11% 9.6%
Candidate Party 17 Nov 2009
Puls for Nova TV[244]
19 Nov 2009
Mediana Fides

for Jutarnji list[245]

28 Nov 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[246]
22 Dec 2009
Puls for Nova TV[247]
23 Dec 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[248]
  Ivo Josipović SDP 51% 45.7% 51% 53% 53.4%
  Nadan Vidošević Independent 41% 34.2% 35% 36% 34.8%
Candidate Party 17 Nov 2009
Puls for Nova TV[244]
28 Nov 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[246]
22 Dec 2009
Puls for Nova TV[247]
23 Dec 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[248]
  Ivo Josipović SDP 63% 67% 64% 65.9%
  Andrija Hebrang HDZ 30% 22% 25% 26.6%
Candidate Party 17 Nov 2009
Puls for Nova TV[244]
19 Nov 2009
Mediana Fides

for Jutarnji list[245]

28 Nov 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[246]
  Nadan Vidošević Independent 52% 42.8% 47%
  Milan Bandić Independent 39% 21% 38%
Candidate Party 23 Dec 2009
Puls for RTL Televizija
and Večernji list[248]
  Ivo Josipović SDP 59.7%
  Dragan Primorac Independent 30.2%


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