Exit polls indicate a victory for Croatia’s opposition bloc Kukuriku led by Socialist Party leader Zoran Milanovic.
The results from two polls show the centre-left bloc as winning 83 of the 151 seats in the parliament.
The polls put the ruling conservative HDZ at forty seats, ending the dominant streak of a party that has been in power 16 of the 20 years Croatia has been an independent state – and ending Jadranka Kosor’s time as prime minister.
HDZ has been dogged by corruption scandals and hurt by a perceived mismanagement of the economy as the country struggles out of recession.
A tough budget is needed in order to avoid a credit-rating downgrade as Croatia prepares to join the EU in 2013.