ZAGREB (Croatia), March 26 (SeeNews) - Croatia's ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has come ahead of centre-left opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) in approval ratings for the first time since December, the results of an opinion poll showed.
If parliamentary elections were held in Croatia today, HDZ would get 25.2% support, up by a monthly 0.7 index points, while its main opponent SDP would garner 23.7% of the votes, down by a monthly 1.5 points, a survey conducted by Ipsos agency for Nova TV showed on Wednesday. The survey was carried out between March 1 and 20 among 992 people, with a maximum margin of error of plus/minus 3.3%.
The March survey coincided with the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis in the country and the introduction of the first set of measures of the HDZ-led government in limiting its impact on the domestic economy.
A poll conducted by Promocija Plus agency among 1,400 people during March 16-19 for public broadcaster HRT showed on Friday that SDP was still ahead of HDZ with 29.3% support versus 27.3% for the governing party. The survey, however, indicated that support for HDZ has increased faster than support for SDP in March.
The next general election in Croatia is due in the autumn of 2020.
This is the first time since December that HDZ has returned to the top position in the monthly opinion polls conducted by Ipsos. In the previous two months, HDZ was outrun by SDP, after the latter's candidate Zoran Milanovic won Croatia's presidential vote in January, defeating incumbent president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic backed by HDZ.
According to the Ipsos survey, the only other party that would pass the 5.0% threshold if elections were held now, is the recently unveiled political formation Homeland Movement (Domovinski Pokret) of musician Miroslav Skoro, who came third in the first round of the presidential election.
Skoro's political party is backed by 12.5%, up from February's 10.1%, the results of the Ipsos survey showed.