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National Alliance continues to lead in latest political poll

With two months to go until European Parliamentary elections take place, the right-of-center National Alliance continues to lead the way in the latest political poll conducted by SKDS for Latvian Television.

The National Alliance (NA) ranked first in the party ratings with 8.1% of respondents in the latest regular monthly poll saying they would vote for it if Saeima elections were held tomorrow.

The left-leaning Progressives (P) came in a close second place with the support of 8% of voters, while the centrist New Unity (JV) of Prime Minister Evika Siliņa slumped to third place with 7.8% support.

Snapping at New Unity's heels is the populist Latvia First (LPV) party with 7.4% support while fifth place is held by the Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) with 7% support.

For Stability! (ST!) with 5.5% promised support, Harmony (S) on 5% and the United List (AS) on 4.9% round out the lst of parties managing to muster at least 3%, with smaller parties accounting for the remaining scraps of public approval.

As always though, support for any individual party is dwarfed by the huge chunk of the potential electorate that remains either undecided about their voting intentions (24.8%) or would not participate in the vote anyway (13%).

"If we look at how proportionally these party polls have changed during these two months, in fact most of them are at the same [levels] as before. It looks like New Unity has lost a bit, but the others have not changed much. The National Alliance has done a little bit better, which gives it the first place in the list," commented sociologist and SKDS director Arnis Kaktiņš.

Political commentator and public relations specialist Filips Rajevskis suggested that success was going to the "parties at each end of the spectrum" with those on the left backing the Progressives and those on the right backing the National Alliance, while New Unity has been hurt by a scandal involving the flying habits of former Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš which has caused his resignation as Foreign Minister.

"Kariņš' flights hit a weak spot, because they were [previously] seen as a pragmatic force that could be relied on, not spendthrifts," said Rajevskis.

"The mood is relatively pessimistic, and in such a situation you always get those who have a clear ideology. The National Union promises to give some kind of Latvian future and the same applies to the Progressives' left-liberal ideology, which is attractive to young people," Rajevskis said.

The poll involved 1705 Latvian citizens of voting age and was carried out in March.

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