Latvian parties see slump in support in October

In October, one year after the most recent Saeima elections, support for all parties represented in the Latvian parliament fell, according to the latest opinion poll survey conducted by SKDS for Latvian Television (LTV) released October 28.

With budget plans and regional reform in the headlines, it was opposition parties who occupied first and second spots in the affections of the electorate in the poll which took place between October 5 and 16, involving 909 people of voting age.

Support for the New Unity party of Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš fell most sharply, suggesting that his honeymoon period in office is well and truly over. 

As usual, perennial opposition party Harmony attracted the most support with 12.9% of voters saying they would back them if an election took place now. But even this figure was down on the 14.5% support they registered a month earlier and is the lowest level of support they have registered for more than a calendar year.

Second place in voters' estimation was held by the opposition Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS), on 8% support, with four of the five parties in the ruling coalition occupying the next places, namely, the National Alliance (7.3%), the New Conservative Party (6.7%), New Unity (6.5%) and Development/For! (5.2%). No other parties make it over the 5% threshold that would win seats in Saeima, with the fifth party in the coalition, KPV, continuing in the doldrums on just 2.5% support.

The only party to record a slight increase in support was the Progressives on 2.8% (up from 2.1% in September).

The steepest fall in support was recorded by New Unity, which fell to 6.5% from 8.3% in September.

But as ever the caveat against reading too much into the poll results is the fact that a huge slice of the population says it is either undecided or has no intention of voting at all. In October this accounted for 43.2% of the electorate, suggesting that apathy and disillusionment are still the most popular political options by far.

 

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