Latvians say they will vote in large numbers in euroelections...

A strong majority of Latvian citizens say they intend to vote in upcoming European Parliament elections, according to a survey carried out by Eurobarometer – the results of which are surprising given voters' actual track record in previous ballots.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of Latvian residents expressed their readiness to vote in the upcoming European Parliament (EP) elections in June, according to Eurobarometer survey data. In the countries of the European Union as a whole, the relevant indicator is 71%.




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However, such a level of public engagement would be extremely surprising given that in 2019, only 33.5% of the voting population participated in the EP elections in Latvia. In 2014, voter turnout was even lower: 30.2%. Even in the fervor of Latvia's first European elections, soon after accession to the European Union in 2004, turnout only reached 41%. In 2009 the highest figure so far was recorded: 53% as the financial crisis bit deep into the economy.

According to "Eurobarometer" survey data, 47% of respondents show interest in the elections in Latvia this time around, but if the elections were to take place in a week, 65% of the respondents would be ready to participate in them. Also, 76% agree that voting is becoming more and more important in the current geopolitical context. You can see the full breakdown of the responses in the attached factsheet.


65% of respondents plan to participate in the European Parliament elections in Latvia, but in the EU as a whole this indicator is...
Source: Eurobarometer

In the European Union (EU), a total of 60% of respondents admit that they are interested in the elections planned for June. 71% say they are likely to vote.

The survey, which asked opinions of 1,008 people in Latvia in face-to-face interviews in February, shows that the most important issues for Latvian citizens are poverty, healthcare, economic development and security.

EP President Roberta Metsola, commenting on the results of the pan-European survey, said: "European citizens are aware that the choice at the ballot box has a high stake, and in the current geopolitical context, voting is even more important. I call on our citizens to vote in the upcoming European elections to strengthen European democracy and shape Europe's future."

It is of course possible that turnout in this year's elections in Latvia will be double the turnout last time around – but it is also possible that Latvians are quite polite and in face-to-face interviews they may often give the answers they think the questioner wants to hear. We'll find out in June.

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