Party ratings for August reveal few surprises

There are no big surprises at the top of the party ratings in August, with the most interesting feature being a plethora of parties battling to gain the more than 5% voter support required to win seats in parliament, just over a year before the next Saeima elections.

According to the regular monthly survey, carried out by SKDS on behalf of Latvian Television and conducted both in person and on the Internet, the leading party as usual is the opposition Harmony (Saskaņa) party with 12.6% support, a slight increase on July's level.

Despite a slight decrease to 7.3%, the opposition Greens and Farmers Union (ZZS) retains second place, followed closely by the coalition National Alliance (NA) grouping with 7.1% support. 

In August, the biggest drop in support was for the New Unity (JV) party of PM Krišjānis Kariņš. In July 7.6% of voters were ready to vote for it, but this month the figure dropped to 6.7%. 

Another coalition grouping, Development/For! (A/P) saw its support drop by 0.6% points to 5%.

Then comes a plethora of parties fighting it out at around 3% support including the Progressives (P, 3.6%), Latvian Russian Union (LKS, 3.3%), Law and Order (LuK, 3.2%), New Conservative Party (JKP, 3.1%) and Latvian Regional Alliance (LRA, 2.8%). 

The once-mighty KPV LV now registers a mere 0.4% support, with other even smaller parties mustering an additional 1.6% between them.

As usual, a huge chunk of the electorate remains undecided or completely uninterested in politics. 23.1% of people said they had not decided who to support if elections were held tomorrow and 20% said they had no intention of casting a vote of any kind. Both groups will be the targets of parties' persuasive powers over the next year.       

By recalculating the popularity of parties only among those who say they will vote, pollsters predict that if Saeima elections were held now, ten parties would actually pass the 5% threshold and win seats in Saeima.

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