While the Social Democrats remain Lithuania’s most popular party, they are on a continuing downward trend according to a poll conducted by Spinter Tyrimai on April 19-25.
In April’s poll, 17.2% of respondents said they would vote for the party, 1.6 points fewer than the month before.
The conservative Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats have suffered the biggest slump in popularity dropping 3 percentage points. Only 7.5% of those polled supported the Conservatives in April, down from 10.6% in March.
The Liberal Movement maintains its position as the second most popular party, the first choice for 15.5% of voters (15% in March).
The ‘dark horse’ Peasant and Greens Union enjoyed the biggest popularity rise over the last month, with 11.3% of the polled saying they would vote for the party, up from 8.2% a month before. The ruling Order and Justice party is fourth with 8%.
The fall for the conservatives is a puzzling development, said political scientist Mažvydas Jastramskis.
“It could be a fluctuation: they have launched their election campaign, so it would make no sense that it could have pushed down their ratings. Let’s wait a month and see,” Jastramskis, of Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science, said.
Conservative leader Gabrielius Landsbergis believes it takes time for a party’s campaign to pick up pace. “In my opinion, we could have taken too long putting together our New Plan for Lithuania. We spent too much time talking to experts, analyzing information, gathering statistics and refining messages, we were late in releasing them. Voters were waiting for the political message to come earlier,” Landsbergis said.
Meanwhile the social democrats are clearly on a sustained downward trend, Jastramskis said, while the Peasant and Greens have been moving up for some time now.
The poll also asked people what their second choice would be. The Peasant and Greens are the most popular second choice, with 12.6%, followed by the Social Democrats, 12.6%.
Next in line are the Liberal Movement (6.8%), the Labour Party (6.4%), Order and Justice (6.3%) and the Homeland Union (6.2%).