Lower turnout – more votes
The comparison of figures from yesterday’s elections with the results from the first round five years ago shows lower turnout, but increased number of votes for the candidates
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Yesterday’s elections brought to ballot boxes about 150,000 people less than the first round of presidential elections in 2009. At the same time, despite the lower turnout, VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM candidates have seriously increased the number of votes.
According to the State Election Commission, 1,019,268 citizens voted in the first round of presidential elections five years ago, and 868,279 citizens voted yesterday. Comparatively, in 2009 in the first round of voting there were 56.88 percent and in yesterday’s elections 48.84 percent voted.
The lower turnout is mostly due to the abstinence of the Albanian voters, who listened to DUI’s open invitation to boycott the elections, but analysts say the number of applicants and their offer played the role.
– Albanian abstaining in the elections had its serious impact, but five years ago there were more candidates so that some of those who gave their vote then, maybe now decided to stay at home – says analyst Albert Musliu.
Votes mainly went to two addresses
Four candidates competed in these elections for the presidency. Besides Gjorge Ivanov and Stevo Pendarovski, Zoran Popovski, who won 31,366 votes and Ilijaz Halimi from DPA who won almost 39,000 votes, also entered the race.
Previous elections were quite richer by the number of candidates. Then, despite the VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM candidates, Nano Ruzhin, Ljube Boshkoski, Imer Selmani, Mirushe Hodza and Agron Budzaku tried to become the head of state.
According to Zhidas Daskalovski from Center for Research and Policy Making, besides the abstinence of the DUI electorate, the choice of candidates also affected the turnout.
-In these elections it was obvious that the VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM candidates will enter the second round unlike 2009 when it was unclear whether Frchkoski, Boshkoski or Selmani would enter the shortlist. So I think that part of the voters did not have so great incentive to vote because they knew what the further race would look like – says Daskalovski.
However, regardless of the lower turnout in the first round, the VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM candidates yesterday wrote down hundreds of thousand votes more to their accounts.
Namely, the ruling party candidate Ivanov won more than one hundred thousand votes in respect of the votes five years ago. In 2009 he won 345,850 votes and now 449,068 votes.
The presidential candidate nominated by SDSM Pendarovski won about 120,000 votes more than Ljubomir Frchkoski who competed in 2009 as the opposition candidate.
Figures show that in five years VMRO DPMNE and SDSM managed to increase the votes for more than 220,000.
-This result is obtained due to the party mobilization. SDSM entered the election cycle letting know that it wanted to use them to attain a good result in the early parliamentary elections. They tried to recruit the party body and undecided voters. VMRO-DPMNE uses the entire government team to stand behind Ivanov to achieve the best possible results – says Musliu.
According to Daskalovski, the reasons for the increased number of votes for candidates of both parties are various.
-Many of Boshkoski’s voters in 2009 were of VMRO provenance. Now practically all these votes went to Ivanov, and the result is not far different from that received by the ruling party in other elections. Pendarovski is quite more appealing for SDSM voters, but the undecided of Frchkoski and the party that proposed him since 2011 onwards have begun to consolidate and mobilize more – says Daskalovski.
Taking into consideration the coincidence of the presidential with parliamentary elections on April 23, expectations are that the turnout will be much higher. Unlike now, in the second round in 2009 where Frchkoski and Ivanov entered, the turnout was quite lower compared to the first round then. 42.63 percent of total voters voted for both candidates, little more than the prescribed census of 40 percent for successful elections.