Analysts describe voter turnout in Seimas elections as normal

Seimas elections 2016
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

“As far as voter turnout goes, nothing special: (the voter turnout is) at around the level of 2008 and 2012. Districts with higher voter participation and those with lower participation are similar to those back in 2008,” Vaidas Morkevičius of the Institute of Policy and Public Administration at Kaunas University of Technology told BNS.

Political analysts think that Sunday’s elections were less tense than those in 2012 and, it appears, less significant to voters.

“There were no signs that would have indicated a higher turnout nationwide. Basically, there were very strong campaigns that targeted young people both via social networks and via other media. And these campaigns worked to a certain extent, but nationwide, these elections were not so tense and many people were a little hesitant up to the last moment whom to vote for,” said Aine Ramonaitė of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (IIRPS) at Vilnius University.

In Ramonaitė’s words, some voters apparently did not go to the polls out of disappointment with the parties they had voted for in earlier elections and others felt that they did not have enough new choices.

“Unlike in earlier elections, this year we had no new parties that could attract a lot of attention. The Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union was something of a novelty this year, but they started their election campaign early and were not so much of a novelty any more,” she said.

Mažvydas Jastramskis of the IIRPS believes that voters perhaps found the 2012 parliamentary elections, which took place in the wake of a financial crisis and in tandem with a referendum, more significant.

“It is possible that slightly more people showed up (in 2012) because it seemed that more was at stake in the elections, which came immediately after the crisis, and some perhaps were eager to tip that crisis government out of balance. Also, there was a referendum. The current elections were somewhat calmer. Many people did not feel that these elections were so important,” the analyst said.

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