The main competitors in the presidential elections: prominent candidates

Lithuania's President Palace in Vilnius
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

With four months left until the presidential elections, the current Head of the country, Gitanas Nausėda, continues to increase in popularity. However, ratings for Ingrida Šimonytė and Ignas Vėgėlė have risen even faster in the past month – they are now exchanging second and third positions. According to political analysts’ speculations, both Vėgėlė and Šimonytė have chances to make it to the second round alongside Nausėda, Eglė Šepetytė states in TV3.

During the visit of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Presidency did not invite Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis to the meeting, who later apologised to the Ukrainian delegation. At the time, Gitanas Nausėda explained that there was no scandal here.

“The Minister of National Defence was simply more in tune with the content of that meeting. There was nothing personal here, and I would suggest not to make any big generalisations from it”, Nausėda said.

By the way, the President of the Seimas Restoration, Vytautas Landsbergis, also spoke strongly about the conflict between the Presidency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Gabrielius Landsbergis at the commemoration of January 13th. He addressed his criticism to Nausėda’s advisor.

“Those who come and incite the President against the Government are also subversives. Do they understand that? I don’t know. Are they doing it out of foolishness or for their own projects – how to break through above, to stand somewhere at the top and make an order, even though nobody elected you, Mr Jansonas, so that you now establish an order on behalf of the President,” Landsbergis said.

Nausėda, Šimonytė and Vėgėlė among the leaders

It is unclear whether such regular disputes will significantly impact voters’ opinions, but Gitanas Nausėda is doing better than Landsbergis in piling up ratings. According to a poll conducted by Spinter Research on behalf of Delfi, Nausėda’s closest rival in the presidential elections, Ignas Vėgėlė, outperforms him by double. When asked who they would vote for in the polls, 26% of the respondents said they would vote for Nausėda, 13% for Ignas Vėgėlė and 10% for I. Šimonytė.

“However, although Nausėda’s rating is quite high, he does not have the same gap as Dalia Grybauskaitė had in 2014 when she was competing with her closest rivals,” says political analyst Rima Urbonaitė.

Ignas Vėgėlė, who is at the top of the table, has improved his ranking by five percentage points the most in a month. Recently, he has been critical not only of the Government but also of the firefighters who failed to save a boy’s life in a fire at the Viršuliškės apartment block.

“The strategy is to try to mobilise those constantly dissatisfied with something. This could be politicians, firefighters – anyone relevant to society at the time,” says political scientist Ignas Kalpokas.

Vėgėlė and Šimonytė have been competing for the second to third place in the ratings in recent months.

“Both Ignas Vėgėlė and Ingrida Šimonytė retain their chances of reaching the second round. There is party support behind Šimonytė,” says Urbonaitė.

“If the rating remains similar until the elections, I would see more chances for Šimonytė. The discipline of voters is tested. About a quarter say they are undecided and wouldn’t vote, but we know that at least another two per cent won’t turn out. And where they won’t come from will likely be outside the Conservative camp,” says Kalpokas.

The Social Democrats and Vilija Blinkevičiūtė may become a kind of X factor – the left has not yet announced whether it will propose a candidate in the presidential elections.

You may like

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.