The Axios poll showed that VMRO-DPMNE candidates have a lead over SDSM in several key bellwether cities and Skopje districts, such as Bitola, Aerodrom and Gjorce Petrov.

In Bitola, the VMRO-DPMNE candidate Toni Konjanovski has a 4 percent lead over the SDSM candidate Hristo Kondovski. Konjanovski polls at 23.6 percent, against 19.1 percent for the local businessman who has used his position in the ruling SDSM party to nab lucrative real-estate development deals. Kondovski removed the incumbent Mayor of Bitola Natasa Petrovska from the race and wants direct control of the local zoning decisions.

And in Aerodrom, another district where SDSM is withdrawing its incumbent Mayor due to incompetence, the VMRO candidate Timco Mucunski has a broad lead over Aleksandar Filipovski from SDSM, with 24.2 percent aganst 18.9 percent, the Axios poll showed.

A similar lead is seen in Gjorce Petrov, Skopje’s western district, where doctor Aleksandar Stojkoski from VMRO polls at 24.8 percent, against 19.2 percent for the incumbent SDSM Mayor Aleksandar Naumovski.