New poll shows major shifts in Lithuanian political parties support

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Some of the most significant findings by the latest poll were that the Social Democratic and Labour parties’ ratings had slumped over the first quarter of this year, while support for the Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union and, to a lesser extent, the conservatives has grown.

A poll conducted in January of this year indicated that 33.6% of voters would support the Social Democratic party, but that number has fallen by about 8% to 25.4% now. The percentage of voters who would support the Labour party has fallen by 3% – from 11.9% to 8.8% – from January until now.

If the Seimas elections were to be held this Sunday, seven parties would make it into the Seimas and the subsequent coalition-forming phase. The leading Social Democratic party would receive the most votes at 25%. The Liberal Movement would be second with 15%, followed by the conservatives at 14%, the Lithuanian Peasant and Green union with 12%, the Labour Party with 9%, the Order and Justice party with 8%, and the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania with 5%.

Other parties would only receive a few percentage points each of support, and a further 7% of voters have not yet decided who they will vote for. The changes were revealed by a poll conducted by Baltijos Tyrimai of potential voters ahead of elections in October.

“New players have appeared and the old ones are falling away. The leaders of some parties, especially the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, have changed, and there are internal struggles. The pre-election situation is tense and the tension is rising. There are various scandals regarding transparency, decision making and the like. The situation is interesting, and I think that it will only get more interesting as the battle continues,” political scientist Dr. Jūratė Novagrockienė told ELTA.

“The distribution of decided voters and who they’d vote for is not a 100% guarantee that they will do so, especially since we can see that the ratings are still changing – not by much, but they’re changing,” said Novagrockienė.

Popular political leaders

The poll also asked about people favourite or most-trusted political figures.

Dalia Grybauskaitė was the most-trusted public figure, with 23% of respondents writing in her name. Other names in the top 10 included Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party chairman Algirdas Butkevičius with 11% and former Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis with 7%.

Skvernelis’ popularity grew by 3% over the past three months, with growth of 2% each for Liberal Movement chairman Eligijus Masiulis and Lithuanian Peasant and Green Union chairman Ramūnas Karbauskis. The largest percentage losses in this period were 5% for Butkevičius and 3% for Grybauskaitė.

The approval rating of Viktor Uspaskich, the former leader of the Labour party who was implicated in a fraud case, fell from 1.6% to 0.4%. Many political commentators doubt whether he will be able to return to politics.

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