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2021.08.16 12:18

Lithuanian president, PM see 10-point popularity drop as Social Democrats top party ranking

BNS2021.08.16 12:18

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė saw their approval ratings drop by 8-10 points last month, the latest Vilmorus survey for the Lietuvos Rytas daily shows.

According to the poll results, Nausėda had an approval rating of 55.2 percent in July, compared to 63.1 percent in June.

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, an MEP and the newly-elected leader of the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania, came in second with 49 percent, unchanged from June.

Visvaldas Matijošaitis, the mayor of Lithuania's second-largest city of Kaunas, comes in third with 42.6 percent, down from 43 percent in June, followed by Parliament Speaker Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen with 37.2 percent (39.8 percent in June).

“We have rated 24 politicians in all, including the leaders of the parliamentary parties, ministers, the prime minister, the president and the mayors of two cities,” Vladas Gaidys, head of Vilmorus, told BNS.

Only four politicians have a positive balance, he added, meaning that more people approve of their activities than disapprove.

“All ministers are with the minus sign, the prime minister as well. I don’t remember any time when it was like this,” Gaidys said.

Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė comes in fifth in the ranking with approval of 29.9 percent, down from 39.8 percent a month ago. She is also among the politicians with the highest percentage of negative opinions, 51.2 percent.

Those with the highest negative rating include Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė, MEP Valdemar Tomaševski (leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance), Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis (and leader of the conservative Homeland Union party), as well as the liberal Economy Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė from the Freedom Party.

Shake-up in party rankings

The survey has also showed a realignment in party rankings.

The Social Democratic Party (LSDP) now tops the list, pushing out the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union (LVŽS).

According to the Vilmorus survey, 15.9 percent of Lithuanian voters prefer the LSDP if general elections were held now. Slightly fewer, 15.6 percent, said they would vote for the LVŽS and 13.1 percent would support the conservative Homeland Union (TS-LKD), which is currently the ruling party.

In June, the Social Democrats polled at 13.3 percent, compared to the LVŽS's 15.1 percent and the TS-LKD's 11.8 percent.

Vilmorus head Vladas Gaidys says the popularity of the newly-elected Social Democrat leader Vilija Blinkevičiūtė is behind the party's improved fortunes. Moreover, the party has not been linked to any recent negative events, he noted.

The Labour Party came in fourth with 5.9 percent (5.2 percent in June), followed by the Liberal Movement with 5.5 percent (6 percent) and the Freedom Party with 3 percent (2.9 percent).

Seventeen percent of the respondents were undecided and 14.5 percent said they would not vote at all.

The survey of 1,000 people was carried out between July 29 and August 5.

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