Report: Latvia's 2018 Saeima election changed the political landscape

A new report analyzing Latvia's recent Saeima election, held October 6, concludes that even in the world of social media and mud-slinging campaigns, word of mouth, personal contact and old-fashioned debating are still the most important factors determining how voters place their papers in the ballot box.

"In deciding who to vote for, the most important sources of information were suggestions from friends, close ones and colleagues, as well as the parties’ performance in the pre-election debates," says the report titled What affected voters’ decisions in the 6 October 2018 parliamentary election? 

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The report is published by the Providus Center for Public Policy and coincides with a conference on similar themes being held in Rīga December 14.

That relatively ancient medium - television - has "continued to be the most influential form of media for voters – 76% of voters received political information prior to the election from one or more television channels," the report says.

However, the influence of television has decreased – younger citizens watch television rarely, getting news from the internet instead. The post-election survey showed that Latvian citizens generally trust the work of the media.

The report is based upon data from a survey sample of 854 Latvian citizens, conducted by the SKDS pollster and goes into detail on a wide number of election-related topics. You can read the full research in the attachment included with this story. 

Among the more eye-catching findings, 69% of Latvian citizens agree with the statement that the ruling powers in Latvia are corrupt and 37% of Latvian citizens consider that Latvia’s future is under threat.

Only 18% of Latvian citizens considered that there was a lot of misinformation about candidates during the election campaign period which they did not believe, despite frequent fears before campaigning got underway that it would be a very dirty campaign.

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Election
Politics