Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova carried the Macedonian capital Skopje, with a narrow lead of 664 votes. The result represents a rebuke of ruling coalition candidate Stevo Pendarovski, who was the only SDSM candidate in the 2016 general elections to carry one of Macedonia’s regions – the first electoral region which covers most of Skopje’s urban districts.

Pendarovski saw himself as the favorite of the left wing city elite, and always knew he would struggle in the more rural parts of the country. But Siljanovska, a university professor who was an early supporter of SDSM’s Colored Revolution, before she rejected the way it is being used to rename Macedonia, also showed she can be well received in Skopje’s tower blocks.

Pendarovski won only the most left leaning, central districts of Centar and Karpos. In each he leads Siljanovska by 3.000 votes.

But Aerodrom, the sprawling eastern urban district, another part of the city where SDSM hoped to build up its lead, actually turned red and voted for Siljanovska with a 2.000 votes margin.

The other, more working class districts, most of whom were surprisingly taken by SDSM in the 2017 municipal elections, effortlessly turned back to support VMRO and Siljanovska. In Kisela Voda her margin was over 4.000 votes. Pendarovski lost his native, industrial Gazi Baba district by whopping 15.678 to 9.232 votes.  Butel and Gjorce Petrov each went for Siljanovska by 1.400 and 1.900 votes.

Where Pendarovski managed to claw his way back are the majority Albanian villages around Skopje – evidence on how dependent SDSM has become on its Albanian wing and on its DUI coalition partner. Pendarovski won 3.748 votes in Saraj and 8.203 votes in the central Cair district. Siljanovska was competitive in Cair, among the Macedonians living there, winning nearly 3.000 votes. And finally, the northern, majority Roma sprawl of Shuto Orizari also went to Pendarovski, with Siljanovska 600 votes behind him.