As of April 2015 HNS forms a parliamentary club with 5 members in the Croatian Parliament, making them the fourth largest party in Croatia in terms of parliament representation. HNS is an observing member of the Liberal International and a full member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party. Since 17 December 2017 the party's leader is Ivan Vrdoljak.
The People's Party in Croatia was originally formed in 1841, during the period of Croatian romantic nationalism. The Croatian People's Party describes the events of the Illyrian movement since 1835 as its history.[clarification needed]
The modern Croatian People's Party was formed in late 1990 by members of the Coalition of People's Accord (Croatian: Koalicija narodnog sporazuma) which had participated on the first multi-party election of 1990, led by Savka Dabčević-Kučar, Miko Tripalo, Dragutin Haramija and others.
The HNS remained a small opposition party. In the 1992 election they won 6.7% of the vote and attained 6 seats in the Croatian Parliament. In 1994, construction entrepreneur Radimir Čačić became party chairman. In the 1995 election they won 2 seats as part of an election alliance.
In the January 2000 election they formed a four-party coalition with HSS, LS and IDS, which together won 25 seats in the Parliament, two of whom were HNS representatives. As a result, the party participated in the 2000–2003 government of Ivica Račan through the minister of public works, construction and reconstruction Radimir Čačić. A few weeks later, the coalition's candidate and HNS member Stjepan Mesić was elected President of the Republic.
Also in 2000, HNS elected a new party chair, sociologist Vesna Pusić.
In the November 2003 elections, their alliance with the Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar and the Slavonia-Baranja Croatian Party won 8% of the vote and 11 out of 151 seats, 10 of them HNS representatives. However, despite significantly improved results, the party moved to the opposition.
A second element of today's People's Party, the Party of Liberal Democrats or Libra, originated in time of the Račan government when in 2002 Dražen Budiša, the leader of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), pulled out of the coalition. Ten members of parliament from Budiša's party, led by Jozo Radoš, refused to bring down the government and instead split from the HSLS, forming Libra, the Party of Liberal Democrats. That party won 3 seats in the 2003 election. On 6 February 2005, most of the 1,250 representatives of HNS on its seventh convention voted to merge with Libra as the Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats. The total number of parliamentary seats for the party increased to 13.
In the November 2007 elections the party ran on its own and got around 7% of the vote and 7 seats in the Croatian Sabor. It remained in the opposition. Since then, two representatives in Sabor, Dragutin Lesar and Zlatko Horvat, left the party.
In April 2008 Radimir Čačić was elected as party chair after defeating Dragutin Lesar, and then again in March 2012.
|—||Predrag Štromar||2017 (Acting)|
The following is a summary of the party's results in legislative elections for the Croatian parliament. The "Total votes" and "Percentage" columns include sums of votes won by pre-election coalitions HNS had been part of. After preferential votes were added to the electoral system, the votes column also includes the statistic of the total number of such votes received by candidates of HNS on coalition lists. The "Total seats" column includes sums of seats won by HNS in election constituencies plus representatives of ethnic minorities affiliated with HNS.
|Election||In coalition with||Votes won||Percentage||Seats won||Change||Government|
|(Coalition totals)||(HNS only)|
6 / 138
2 / 127
2 / 151
10 / 151
7 / 153
14 / 151
|2015 (November)||SDP–HSU–HL–AHSS–ZS||744,507 (84,002)||32.31||
9 / 151
|2016 (September)||SDP–HSU–HSS||636,960 (84,581)||33.47||
9 / 151
|Opposition (until June 2017)|
|Government (since June 2017)|
|Election||In coalition with||Votes won
|Percentage||Total seats won
0 / 12
1 / 11
The following is a list of presidential candidates who were endorsed by HNS in elections for President of Croatia.
|Election||Candidate||First round result||Second round result|
|1992 (Aug)||Savka Dabčević-Kučar (HNS)||6.0%||Third||—|
|1997 (Jun)||Vlado Gotovac (HSLS)||17.6%||Third||—|
|2000 (Jan–Feb)||Stjepan Mesić (HNS)||41.1%||First||56.0%||Won|
|2005 (Jan)||Stjepan Mesić (Ind.)||48.9%||First||65.9%||Won|
|2009–10 (Dec–Jan)||Vesna Pusić (HNS)||7.3%||Fifth||—|
|2014–15 (Dec–Jan)||Ivo Josipović (Ind.)||38.5%||First||49.3%||Runner-up|
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