Croatia's conservative HDZ party has won Sunday's parliamentary election but is expected to seek the support of a centrist party to form a coalition.
HDZ won 61 of 151 seats while the Social Democrat-led four-party alliance had 54 seats.
Snap elections were called after the HDZ government collapsed in June over a conflict of interest scandal.
Croatia joined the EU in 2013 but political stalemate has prevented much-needed reforms from being carried out.
In its eight months in power, the HDZ-led coalition had been characterised by a shift to the right and growing antipathy towards the independent media and minorities, especially ethnic Serbs.
The BBC 's Guy Delauney in Zagreb described how nationalism and neighbour-bashing had become a feature of Croatian politics in recent months.
However, the party's new and more moderate leader, Andrej Plenkovic, has promised a "Europe-oriented" government and the HDZ ran on its own in Sunday's poll, without any of the more extreme nationalist parties.
It is thought Mr Plenkovic will look initially to form a coalition with the centre-right Most (Bridge) party, which won 13 seats.
The centre-left SDP conceded victory and drew attention to the low 53% turnout.
Its leader Zoran Milanovic criticised the previous "unstable and destructive" HDZ-led coalition and said what Croatia needed was a stable government.
Some 3.8 million people were eligible to vote in the country's second election in less than a year.
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