Coalition triumphs in election: exit poll

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The ruling three party coalition is set to continue in power according to an exit poll of October 4's election from the Latvijas Fakti pollster.

The poll predicts Unity to have won the election with 23.9 percent of the vote followed by Harmony on 21.3%, the Greens and Farmers Union on 18.6%, National Alliance on 18.4% and Latvia from the Heart on 6.9%.

The Regional Alliance, on 6 percent is the next largest party, just crossing the 5% threshold needed for parliamentary representation.

The data is based on 29,000 respondents.

Similar data from the SKDS pollster for the LETA news agency gave Unity 23.8%, Harmony 21.6%, Greens and Farmers 19.4% and National Alliance 18.5%.

Passing the 5% barrier were the Regional Alliance on 6% and Latvia From the Heart scrapping in on 5.4%, said LETA.

That translates to 25 seats in parliament for Unity, Harmony 23, the National Alliance 19, Greens and Farmers 19 and 7 each to the Regional Alliance and Latvia From the Heart.

That would give the current coalition 63 seats with the possibility that the Regional Alliance might join them to create a powerful 70 seat bloc.

Turnout was at 56% soon after the close of polls but with further voting figures still to come in, final turnout is likely to be similar to the 59% recorded in the last Saeima elections.

Commenting on the results, University of Latvia political scientist Ivars Ijabs told LSM: "This is more of the same coalition but it's slightly changed the balance of power in that it makes Unity more powerful.

"There is no significant change. Everyone who expects fundamental changes in Latvian politics should think carefully."

"But let's wait for the real numbers."



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