Law professor and composer Ivo Josipovic is on course to become Croatia’s next president, if a new opinion poll is to be believed.
Having hit the right note with voters in a first round ballot, Josipovic looks set to go all the way in this month’s run-off.
The newspaper survey puts the opposition Social Democrat comfortably ahead of his rival, former party colleague Milan Bandic.
The influential Mayor of Zagreb is running as an independent. Solidly beaten in the first round, the populist politician is putting up a strong challenge, with support from liberal and conservative voters.
Whatever the result on January 10, both men have pledged to back Croatia’s European Union membership bid which it hopes to achieve in 2012.
The winner will inherit a country hit hard by the economic crisis — a country that must step up its fight against corruption if its EU dreams are to come true.