Ratings suggest New Unity recovery is continuing

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The revival in fortunes of the New Unity party under Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš appeared to continue in June according to the monthly poll from the SKDS pollster produced for LTV.

New Unity's popularity reached a four-year high of 10.5% when voters were asked which party they would choose if Saeima elections were held now.

The leading party remained the opposition Harmony party on 15.8% (down 1.7% on May's figure, and in fact its worst polling result since 2010) with New Unity in second place, having picked up 4.4% since the previous month.

Third place was the National Alliance on 7.7% support (down 0.9%), fourth was Development/For! on 6.8% (up 0.9%) and fifth was the Greens and Farmers Alliance on 6.3% (down 2.5%).

No other party was able to muster more than the 5% support threshold that would be required to win seats in Saeima, including both the New Conservatives and KPV LV.

However, the levels of definite support among voters are low compared to the numbers saying they either don't know who they would vote for (18.2%) or would have no intention of voting at all (18.7%), leaving more than a third of voters "'floating".

New Unity is likely to be happiest with the latest poll data. One year ago the party seemed to be teetering on the edge of collapse with support of just 2.5% and while it remains the smallest party in the five-party government coalition, the high-profile role of Kariņš seems to be paying dividends.

In contrast the erosion of support for the New Conservatives since a very strong showing at Saeima elections in October and a strong start to this year is likely to be of concern to party leaders. But at least they can point to the even more vertiginous decline in the fortunes of the KPV LV party as an example of what happens when internal rivalries split a party completely. 

SKDS' Arnis Kaktiņš offered crumbs of comfort to parties disappointed with their current results, suggesting they were likely a hangover from the European Parliament election results at the end of May.

"These effects usually last for about three months. So I would recommend that New Unity people don't get too happy, and the New Conservative people don't get too sad," he said.

The poll took place from 7 to 17 June and involved 891 randomly selected Latvian citizens.


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