In four years, SDSM lost half its voters

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Zoran Zaev’s SDSM party saw its support cut in half from the high watermark of the 2017 local elections. The disastrous result of SDSM in the first round of the 2021 local elections is mostly due to their fall in support – as people simply turned away from Zaev.

This is the third worst result for SDSM in their history. And this was from a position of power, which brings a lot of perks. If the majority in Parliament realigns and SDSM goes in the opposition, they will fall below 200,000 votes, said experienced pollster Vladimir Bozinovski.

The ruling party won whopping 180,000 fewer votes compared to 2017. VMRO-DPMNE also fell, given how lower turnouts are a feature in the coronavirus elections, but only by about 50,000 votes. With more votes, VMRO was demolished by SDSM in 2017, losing all major urban centers except for Kavadarci. This time around, with fewer votes, VMRO won in all urban centers, except for Zaev’s stronghold of Strumica, and Kumanovo.

SDSM’s collapse is most visible in Skopje, in both working-class and administrative class areas. In Aerodrom, SDSM fell from 22,000 votes in 2017 to just 9,000. In the working-class Gjorce Petrov, they are down from 13,000 to 6,000. Across Skopje, SDSM lost 70,000 votes.