2015 Croatian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in Croatia on 8 November 2015.[1] All 151 seats in the Parliament were up for election. This parliamentary election was the 8th since the first multi-party election in 1990 and the first since Croatia joined the European Union in 2013. The ruling center-left Croatia is Growing coalition, led by Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, was challenged by the center-right Patriotic Coalition led by the HDZ and headed by its party chairman Tomislav Karamarko, and also faced several new political coalitions.

2015 Croatian parliamentary election
← 2011 8 November 2015 2016 →

All 151 seats in the Croatian Parliament
76 seats needed for a majority
Turnout63.06% Increase 6.77 pp
Party Leader % Seats +/–
Patriotic Coalition Tomislav Karamarko 34.64 59 +12
Croatia is Growing Zoran Milanović 33.38 56 -27
Most Božo Petrov 13.64 19 New
Human Shield Collective leadership 4.54 1 New
Labour & Solidarity Milan Bandić 3.39 2 New
IDSPGSRl Boris Miletić 1.90 5 +2
Successful Croatia Radimir Čačić 1.57 1 New
HDSSB Dragan Vulin 1.37 2 -4
Minority lists
SDSS Vojislav Stanimirović 77.63 3 0
MESZ Sándor Juhás 50.23 1 New
Kali Sara Veljko Kajtazi 41.41 1 New
Independents [a] 3 +2
Croatian Parliamentary Election Results 2015.png
Strongest party by electoral district
Prime Minister before Subsequent Prime Minister
Zoran Milanović
Tihomir Orešković

The elections produced a hung parliament, with the ruling Croatia is Growing coalition winning 56 seats in the 10 electoral constituencies within Croatia and 3 of the 8 representatives of national minorities (Ermina Lekaj-Prljaskaj and Veljko Kajtazi are members of HNS and Sándor Juhász is a member of SDP). The opposition Patriotic Coalition won 56 seats within Croatia and all three seats allocated to Croatian citizens living abroad, winning 59 seats, technically tying with the ruling coalition. The IDS-PGS-RI coalition was expected to side with Croatia is Growing, as well as the remaining 5 minority representatives, giving Prime Minister Milanović's coalition 67 seats to 59 for Karamarko's opposition coalition. This left Milanović 9 seats short of a majority, while Karamarko needed 17 seats.

The third-placed MOST led by Metković mayor Božo Petrov, which won 19 seats, was expected to be the deciding factor in the formation of the next government of Croatia. After the election Drago Prgomet of MOST stated that neither Milanović nor Karamarko would be their choice for Prime Minister and that MOST will decide on who will head the 13th government of Croatia.[2] Some within MOST had stated they prefer the formation of a national unity government made up of HDZ, SDP and MOST, though this was considered extremely unlikely.[3] On 11 November Patriotic coalition leader Karamarko openly rejected the prospect of an HDZ-SDP-MOST government.[4] This was followed by more than 45 days of negotiations between all three coalitions.

On 22 December it was stated that Croatia is Growing would form a government with MOST, however, on 23 December, MOST decided to give its support to a government with the HDZ. The coalition was further supported by Milan Bandić 365 and two independent minority representatives, giving them a slim majority of 78 seats in Parliament, two more than the required 76 seats. They nominated a Croatian-Canadian businessman named Tihomir Orešković, who was generally unknown to the public and who had spent most of his life in Canada, to be the next Prime Minister.[5][6] A new government finally took office on 22 January 2016 with Orešković as the 11th Prime Minister, after a record 76 days of negotiations.


The 2011 general election was held on 4 December 2011 and resulted in the victory of the center-left Kukuriku coalition led by the Social Democratic Party and supported by the Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats, Croatian Party of Pensioners and the Istrian Democratic Assembly. The largest opposition party is the center-right Croatian Democratic Union. Other smaller opposition parties are the Croatian Labourists – Labour Party and the Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja.

The previous 7th Assembly of the Croatian Parliament was dissolved on 28 September 2015, with the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović subsequently being tasked with scheduling the elections on a Sunday within 60 days of the dissolution.[7]

Electoral systemEdit

Elections were held in 10 electoral districts inside Croatia each with a roughly equal number of registered voters and 14 seats, supplemented by one electoral district for Croatian citizens living abroad (3 seats), and one electoral district for national minorities (8 seats). Parties or alliances had to pass a 5% threshold in each electoral district in order to qualify for seats, which were then distributed proportionally between the qualified lists using the D'Hondt method. As voters were allowed to select both a list and a candidate from it, the ranking of candidates on the list was superseded by voter selection wherever candidates got at least 10% of the list's votes.

Electoral law amendmentsEdit

In February 2015 the Croatian parliament voted to amend the country's election rules by introducing a number of changes, most importantly introducing an element of preferential voting by letting candidate selection function as a most open list system for candidates receiving a minimum of 10%, while keeping list ranking for those that do not meet this quota. In addition there were several other changes, including a gender quota, a ban on convicted criminals running, new rules for monitoring of the elections, changes to the way media covers elections etc. The proposal came from the ruling Social Democratic Party as well as several other minor changes. The opposition left Parliament and did not participate in the voting process.[8] However, on 25 September 2015 the Constitutional Court of Croatia ruled that some of the changes to the electoral law were unconstitutional, including a ban on criminals convicted for misuse of position running for office, while maintaining this ban for other offences, an electoral list quota of 40% candidates of each gender and an obligation to collect 1,500 signatures for a political party to run in an electoral district.

Political partiesEdit

Opinion pollsEdit

15-day average trend line of poll results from December 2011 to the present day, with each line corresponding to a political party.


Results by municipality, shaded according to winning party's percentage of the vote.

On November 9, 2015 State Election Commission published only the provisional official results from the 99.9% of regular polling stations because elections were repeated in 7 polling stations due to irregularities on election day. Final results were announced on 24 November.

Centre-right Patriotic Coalition won 59[20] seats, centre-left Croatia is Growing coalition 58 (2 national minority representatives side with the Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats), centre Bridge of Independent Lists 19, centre-left Istrian Democratic Assembly 3, right wing Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja and centre Milan Bandić 365 - The Party of Labour and Solidarity 2 each, centre Human Blockade and centre People's Party - Reformists 1 each. As for the 8 mandates of minority representatives, 3 go to Croatia is Growing because those representatives are members of HNS party or its parliamentary club, while Independent Democratic Serb Party that won 3 seats confirmed that it would negotiate with Croatia is Growing. In addition, Istrian Democratic Assembly also confirmed that it would negotiate only with Croatia is Growing.

A total of 17 parties won representation in the 8th assembly of the Croatian Parliament: HDZ (51), SDP (42 + 1 representative of national minorities), MOST (19), HNS (9 + 2 national minority representatives), Labourists (3), IDS (3), HSP-AS (3), HSU (2), HSLS (2), Bandić Milan 365 (2), HDSSB (2), BUZ (1), HSS (1), Human Blockade (1), HRAST (1), HDS (1) and Reformists (1).[21] Such a fractured political situation meant that forming a stable majority that would serve a full 4-year term would be a challenge. Furthermore, the total number of MOST's seats in Parliament, who held the balance of power, fell from 19 to 15 within months of election day, namely Drago Prgomet, who was expelled from MOST only four days after the election, founded his own party Croatian Dialogue Initiative (HRID), which two more MOST parliamentarians soon jointed, while Stipe Petrina another MOST MP became an independent.

National minorities elected 8 representatives through a separate election system: Milorad Pupovac (75,9% of votes), Mile Horvat (59,2%) and Mirko Rašković (54,4%) for the Serb national minority, Sándor Juhász (50,2%) for the Hungarian minority, Furio Radin (65,8%) for the Italian minority, Vladimir Bilek (75,7%) for the Czech and Slovak minorities, Veljko Kajtazi (41,4%) for the Austrian, Bulgarian, German, Jewish, Polish, Roma, Romanian, Rusyn, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vlach minorities and Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj (21,1%) for the Albanian, Bosniak, Macedonian, Montenegrin and Slovene minorities.

Patriotic Coalition (HDZHSSHSP AS–BUZ–HSLSHrastHDSZDS)771,07034.6459+10
Croatia is Growing (SDPHNSHSUHLSRA-HSSZS)742,90933.3856–18
Bridge of Independents303,56413.6419New
Human ShieldYouth Action101,0734.541New
Labour and Solidarity (BM 365–DPS–DSŽ–HES–HRS–ID–MS–NSH–NV–SU–UDU–Zeleni–ZS)75,5273.392+2
Right to Our Own (IDSPGSRI)42,1931.9030
Sustainable Development of Croatia39,0901.760New
Successful Croatia (NS-RNHPS–Pensioners–ZF–DDS)34,9051.571+1
Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja30,4431.372–4
In the Name of the Family – Project Homeland23,8661.070New
Authentic Croatian Party of Rights12,0270.540
Croatian Dawn – Party of the People4,4870.200
Za Grad2,5480.110
Socialist Labour Party of Croatia2,5280.110
Croatian Civic Party2,2340.100
Veterans' Patriotic Party of Croatia1,6450.070
Democratic Alliance of National Reconstruction1,5480.070
Workers' Front1,2930.060
Together Movement9610.040
Međimurje Democratic Alliance7620.030
Croatian Party of Order1620.010
National minorities80
Valid votes2,225,92398.26
Invalid/blank votes39,3671.74
Total votes2,265,290100.00
Registered voters/turnout3,592,34163.06
Source: State Election Committee;[22] Dnevnik[23]

Minority seatsEdit

Albanians, Bosniaks, Montenegrins, Macedonians and Slovenes
Ermina Lekaj PrljaskajFAI–KUANM–HASI–UKURH99921.19
Idris SulejmaniAlbanian Community of Istria County99421.09
Nedžad HodžićBosniak Democratic Party of Croatia75516.02
Mirsad SrebrenikovićParty of Democratic Action71115.08
Jonuz AlitiIndependent3757.96
Alen DžombaForward Croatia!3066.49
Alija AvdićBosnian Party of Croatia1763.73
Sabina Koželj-horvatSlovenian Cultural Society1433.03
Senad PršićBosnian National Community1282.72
Lutvija GracaIndependent521.10
Sulejman TabakovićIndependent450.95
Suad SalkićIndependent300.64
Valid votes4,71498.95
Invalid/blank votes501.05
Total votes4,764100.00
Registered voters/turnout26,77417.79
Austrians, Bulgarians, Germans, Poles, Roma, Romanians,
Ruthenians, Russians, Turks, Ukrainians, Vlachs and Jews
Veljko KajtaziCroatian Romani Union "Kali Sara"1,91341.41
Željko BalogForward Croatia!77816.84
Muhamed ZahirovićLabour and Solidarity Coalition63813.81
Robert BosakLuna53911.67
Duško KostićIndependent2585.58
Dubravka RašljaninRussian Association1823.94
Renata TrischlerGerman Union1312.84
Vesna PichlerAssociation of Germans and Austrians611.32
Jelena Zaričnaja JindraUnion of Russians581.26
Bari AhmediIndependent440.95
Zvonko KalanjošIndependent180.39
Valid votes4,62098.42
Invalid/blank votes741.58
Total votes4,694100.00
Registered voters/turnout14,09333.31
Czechs and Slovaks
Vladimir BilekIndependent1,59875.73
Ivan KomakIndependent51224.27
Valid votes2,11099.20
Invalid/blank votes170.80
Total votes2,127100.00
Registered voters/turnout6,45632.95
Šandor JuhasUnion of Hungarian Associations2,21850.23
Róbert JankovicsDemocratic Union of Hungarians of Croatia2,19849.77
Valid votes4,41698.68
Invalid/blank votes591.32
Total votes4,475100.00
Registered voters/turnout9,12949.02
Furio RadinIndependent1,59465.84
Maurizio ZennaroIndependent67627.92
Daniela DapasSustainable Development of Croatia1516.24
Valid votes2,42198.94
Invalid/blank votes261.06
Total votes2,447100.00
Registered voters/turnout10,31223.73
Milorad PupovacIndependent Democratic Serb Party14,10331.10
Mile HorvatIndependent Democratic Serb Party10,99724.25
Mirko RaškovićIndependent Democratic Serb Party10,10322.28
Srđan MilakovićIndependent2,9956.60
Siniša LjubojevićIndependent2,6905.93
Jovan AjdukovićOur Party1,6813.71
Dušan BjelajacSerbian Justice Party8521.88
Dragan TodićOur Party5431.20
Slavko MirnićOur Party5411.19
Nenad VlahovićSerbian Justice Party4711.04
Dragoljub PetrovićSerbian Justice Party3710.82
Valid votes18,57897.90
Invalid/blank votes3982.10
Total votes18,976100.00
Registered voters/turnout129,68314.63
Source: Izbori

Distribution of seats by electoral districtEdit

Patriotic Coalition 4 6 4 6 8 5 5 3 8 7 3  —
Croatia is Growing 7 5 8 5 4 6 6 7 4 4  —  —
Most 3 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 2 3 0
IDS+PGS+RI  —  —  —  —  —  —  — 3  —  —  —
Bandić 365 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0  —
HDSSB  —  —  — 2 0  —  —  —  —  —  —
Human Shield 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0  —  —
Successful Croatia 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0  —
Ethnic minorities  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  — 8

Government formationEdit

According to official results the ruling Croatia is Growing coalition won 56 seats, amounting to 59 due to the coalition with IDS.[24] The opposition Patriotic Coalition and MOST (Croatian for bridge) were the second and third largest blocs, respectively. MOST has stated that it will not enter into coalition with either of the two largest blocs and that it will instead present its own candidate for prime minister.[25] On 12 November, MOST MP Drago Prgomet was expelled from the party for holding private talks with Prime Minister Zoran Milanović without the knowledge of other members of the party's leadership.[26]

There are four possible outcomes: HDZ forms a coalition with MOST, SDP forms a coalition with MOST, forming of a coalition between HDZ and SDP, and called a new election.[27] Jutarnji reported that Milanović is closer to gaining the 76 seats needed for a majority in parliament than Tomislav Karamarko, the former having reportedly gained the support of IDS and the eight MPs elected by national minorities. It was also reported that Milan Bandić, whose party won two seats, as well as Radimir Čačić of Forward Croatia! - Progressive Alliance are also more likely to support Milanović. The regional party HDSSB is considered very unlikely to support a Patriotic Coalition government due to animosity on the local level (although they are ideologically closer), but they might support Croatia is Growing in a minority government.[28] The first round of talks on the formation of the next government, held on 26 November at the Presidential palace proved inconclusive, with none of the leaders of parliamentary parties presenting the required 76 MPs needed for the naming of a Prime Minister-designate. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović called the first session of the eighth assembly of parliament for 3 December and set the date for new talks on 7 December. On 27 November, Milanović offered the position of Speaker of Parliament to MOST chairman Božo Petrov, who declined stating that he was not interested in holding a position, but rather for reforms to be agreed upon first. On 23 December, the Patriotic Coalition, MOST, Milan Bandić 365 - The Party of Labour and Solidarity and two minority representatives (Ermina Lekaj-Prljaskaj and Mirko Rašković) agreed upon non-partisan candidate Tihomir Orešković as prime minister-designate. Orešković presented the 78 signatures of support to Grabar-Kitarović, upon which she gave him the task of forming a new government and called the second attempt at constituting the parliament for 28 December.[citation needed]Željko Reiner was elected Speaker on 28 December with 88 votes in favor, 62 abstentions and 1 against, thus constituting the 8th Assembly of Parliament 50 days after the elections were held. The confirmation of the cabinet to be led by Tihomir Orešković took place on 22 January 2016. After a 14-hour parliamentary debate the new government was supported by a majority of 83 out of 151 parliamentary representatives. Zoran Milanović handed over the office of Prime Minister to Tihomir Orešković at 23:55 pm on the same day. This ended a record-breaking 76 days of negotiations that began on 9 November 2015.


  1. ^ Vladimir Bilek (Czech and Slovak seat), Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj (Albanian, Bosniak, Macedonian, Montenegrin and Slovenian) and Furio Radin (Italian seat)


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  20. ^ 56 + 3 from District XI
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External linksEdit