Hopes of high turnout prove over-optimistic

Predictions that a very active election campaigning season would result in high voter turnout appear to have proven inaccurate, with turnout actually dropping to the lowest level since the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991.

According to near-complete information from the Central Election Commission (1077 of 1078 polling stations), turnout was 54.4% - significantly down even on 2014's previous record low of 58%.

The most active region of Latvia was the northern Vidzeme region with 60% turnout. Kurzeme in the west had turnout of 55%, Zemgale in the south was at 54% and the eastern Latgale region had the lowest turnout - just 43%.

Rīga, which has its own electoral district, had turnout of 53%.

The figures make sobering reading as the country celebrates the centenary of its independence with nearly half the electorate not making their voice heard.

In 2011's extraordinary Saeima election, turnout was 59%.

In the regular 2010 Saeima election, turnout was 62% and in the 2006 Saeima election, turnout was 65%.

In the Saeima elections of 2002 and 1998, turnout was 71% while in the 1993 Saeima elections it was 89%. The free elections before the occupation period in 1931 recorded turnout of 80%.

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