There was a low voter turnout in Skopje in the parliamentary elections in North Macedonia that took place on the 15th of July, but also a narrow election race between the two main competitors – the SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE-led coalitions. Is it because of the dissatisfaction with the political parties’ work or the fear of catching COVID-19? These are the questions that naturally crop up about the voters in Skopje, after the final unofficial results of the early parliamentary elections have been published by the State Election Commission (SEC), showcasing the surprisingly low turnout.

In comparison with the parliamentary elections that took place in December 2016, the voter turnout in Skopje municipalities this elections was rather low in comparision with the resulst from the rest of the country. In almost all municipalities in Skopje, the voter turnout was 20% lower at the elections on the 15th of July compared to the elections in 2016. SEC’s data shows the biggest drop in voter turnout in Aerodrom municipality (-26,72 %), and this is followed by Karposh (-25,29 %), Centar (-24,51 %), Kisela Voda (-24,32 %), Gyorche Petrov (-24,18 %), Gazi Baba (-22,74 % ), Butel (-22,24 %), Shuto Orizari (-15,67 %), Chair (-15,05 %), and Saray (-7,32 %).

It should be stressed that the results of the elections in Skopje’s municipalities are divided into two election districts, the first and the second election districts. Still, in order to determine the mood of the voters in the capital, this article merges the election results from all 10 municipalities in Skopje. The SDSM led coalition “We Can” has won in five municipalities: Centar, Karposh, and Shuto Orizari, and it has won more votes than VMRO-DPMNE in the municipalities of Chair and Saray.

Juxtaposed to that, the “Renewal for Macedonia” coalitions led by VMRO-DPMNE has won more votes in the municipalities of Gazi Baba, Aerodrom, Kisela Voda, Butel, and Gyorche Petrov. When looked upon on the level of the City of Skopje’s territory as a whole, the VMRO-DPMNE’s coalition has won 79.630 votes while the “We Can” has won the trust of 77.970 voters. As a result, it turns out that VMRO-DPMNE has managed to win 1.660 votes more on the territory of the country’s capital.

When it comes to Skopje’s suburban municipalities that aren’t a part of the City of Skopje’s territory, the “We Can” coalition has won more votes than “Renewal for Macedonia” in the municipalities of Chucher – Sandevo, Studenichani, and Arachinovo, while the opposition coalition has won in Sopishte, Zelenikovo, Ilinden, and Petrovec.

The results from the parliamentary elections from other cities show that the SDSM and Besa’s coalition has won in several other major cities compared to the locations where VMRO-DPMNE has won, including Kumanovo, Bitola, Tetovo, Gostivar, Kochani, Strumica, and Struga, and in minor cites such as Berovo, Kriva Palanka, Resen, Krushevo, Dojran, Debar, Bogdanci, Radovish, Valandovo, Delchevo, and several rural municipalities.

Notwithstanding, VMRO-DPMNE has won in the cities like Prilep, Veles, Shtip, Gevgelija, Ohrid, Kavadarci, Negotino, and Kichevo, including minor cities such as Sveti Nikole, Makedonska Kamenica, Probishtip, Makedonski Brod, Kratovo, Vinica, Demir Kapijia, Demir Hisar, and several other rural municipalities.

The final unofficial results from 15th of June’s elections by SEC show that the “We Can” coalition has won 327.329 votes and 46 seats at the Parliament of NRM while the “Renewal for Macedonia” has won 315.344 votes and 44 seats in the next parliamentary personnel.