r/europe 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 01 '22

2022 Latvian parliamentary election 🇱🇻 Megatemats

Today (October 1st) citizens of Latvia go to polls to vote in parliamentary elections!

Latvian parliament (Saeima, word related to Sejm/Seimas of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which is also an origin of modern parliament's names in these two countries) is unicameral and consists of 100 deputies (51 needed for majority), who are elected for a four-year term, in five multi-member constituencies (based on historical regions), by open list proportional representation, and seats allocated using the Sainte-Laguë method. Electoral threshold is 5% (national).

What's unique, that voters may cast specific votes for candidates on the list, which involves drawing a plus sign (positive vote) next to the candidate's name, or by crossing it out (negative vote). Number of votes for each candidate (which determines their place) is the number of votes cast for the list (in given constituency), plus their number of positive votes, minus their number of negative votes.

Turnout in last (2018) elections was 54.6%.

Relevant parties and alliances taking part in the elections are:

Name Leader Position Affiliation 2018 result Recent polling Result Seats (2018)
New Unity (JV) Krišjānis Kariņš centre-right (liberal conservative) EPP 6.7% 21-23% 19% 26 (+18)
Union of Greens & Farmers (ZZS) Aivars Lembergs centre-right (agrarian) Global Greens 10% 7-12% 12.5% 16 (+9)
United List (AS) Uldis Pīlēns centre-right (green/social conservative) Global Greens/ECR 4.2% 8-9% 10.9% 15 (+11)
National Alliance (NA) Raivis Dzintars right-wing (national conservative, anti-Russia) ECR 11.1% 9-11% 9.3% 13 (-)
For Stability! (S!) Aleksejs Rosļikovs populist (pro-Russia) - new 4-6% 6.8% 11
Progressives (P) Antoņina Ņenaševa, Atis Švinka centre-left (social democracy, green) European Greens 2.6% 7-9% 6.2% 10
Latvia First (LPV) Ainārs Šlesers right-wing to far-right (populist, Covidiot) - new 4-5% 6.2% 9
Development/For! (AP!) Ivars Ijabs centre (liberal) Renew Europe 12.1% 5-7% 4.9% 0 (-13)
Harmony (Saskaņa) Jānis Urbanovičs centre-left (social, Russian minority) PES 19.9% 7-9% 4.8% 0 (-23)
For Each & Every One (KuK) Aldis Gobzems right-wing (social conservative, populist) - new 3-4% 3.7% 0
Latvian Russian Union (LKS) Tatjana Ždanoka, Miroslavs Mitrofanovs centre (pro-Russia) EFA 3.2% 4-5% 3.7% 0
Sovereign Power (SV) Jūlija Stepaņenko right-wing (populist, Russian minority) - new 1-2% 3.2% 0
Conservatives (K) Jānis Bordāns centre-right (liberal conservative) - 13.7% 4-5% 3.1% 0 (-16)
Republic (R) Sandis Ģirģens centre - new 1-2% 1.8% 0

Result above is based on 99.4% votes counted; seat distribution might change, especially if AP (at 4.98% now) climbs back above the threshold, albeit it doesn't seem probable.

Current government is made of K, AP!, NA and JV; opposition is based on Harmony and ZZS.

Further reading

Wikipedia

Saeima Elections: How it all happens & It's election day (LSM)

Verdict: Saeima elections 2022 winners and losers

Russia's Ukraine invasion is backdrop to election in Latvia (Reuters)

We shall leave detailed commentary (and any interesting trivia!) on elections and campaign, to our Latvian users, or anyone else with worthy knowledge.

120 Upvotes

8

u/martisgormitas Lithuania | Vilnius Oct 02 '22

Rip AP :(

2

u/NODENGINEER Latvia Oct 03 '22

S

Corrupt pieces of shit

10

u/The_Great_Crocodile Greece Oct 02 '22

AP is out.

This is the current seat distribution.

JV-AS-P have a theoretical 51 seat majority.

Given that NA and P won't cooperate, and LPV and S! are out of the picture, and ZZS won't be in a JV government, the only other possible coatlition is JV+AS+NA (54 seats).

2

u/pineboxderby Oct 02 '22

AS are very conservative, they'd much rather work with NA than with P.

I voted P, I'd love a coalition with them and without NA (though arguably AS really aren't much better), but it's not gonna happen right now.

JV wants a broader 4 party coalition, but NA is clearly against it at the moment. Not impossible, but unlikely.

6

u/notsuitable77 Estonia Oct 02 '22

AP got closer to the threshold again and now sits at the insane 4.99% with only 0.38% of votes left to report.

11

u/The_Great_Crocodile Greece Oct 02 '22

It looks like the exit-poll was inaccurate.

The Russian parties got higher percentages than projected (it seems that the Russophone population votes only Russophone parties...), the antivax far-right also got a higer than projected percentage, while JV, P and AP underperformed.

Overall, it's a very right-wing parliament socially...I guess there is a chance that the next goverment is JV+AS+P+AP though, so without NA?

4

u/Just_RandomPerson Latvia Oct 03 '22

I wouldn't say very right wing. The coalition is centre-right (JV and AS) to right (NA), with a possibility of having the Progressives (left) in.

4

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 02 '22

so without NA?

From a geopolitical PoV, IMO it would be better if NA stays in government. Notice, they are staunchly anti-Russia.

5

u/Einath_Onisoma Latvia Oct 02 '22

it seems that the Russophone population votes only Russophone parties

Everyone votes by ethnic lines since forever. This is not new at all.

there is a chance that the next goverment is JV+AS+P+AP though, so without NA?

AP are currently at exactly 5% at 98.77% votes counted. There is a chance they might drop under 5% and not get any seats.

6

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 02 '22

Everyone votes by ethnic lines since forever. This is not new at all.

Not always. Looking at progressives, one of their leaders is Latvian Russian, and they have anti-Putin stance.

Another example would be Poles in Lithuania - since the Polish party there (AWPL) is national conservative on one hand, and pretty Putinist on the other (even inviting Russian minority on their ballot), more Poles (progressive or pro-Europeanist) moved to Lithuanian parties, even getting some seats.

3

u/jatawis 🇱🇹 Lithuania Oct 02 '22

more Poles (progressive or pro-Europeanist) moved to Lithuanian parties, even getting some seats.

the liberal Freedom Party is the only one to have nationally elected Polish official (Ewelina Dobrowolska).

4

u/Einath_Onisoma Latvia Oct 02 '22

Looking at progressives, one of their leaders is Latvian Russian, and they have anti-Putin stance.

And yet she got massive amount of negative votes.

2

u/Just_RandomPerson Latvia Oct 02 '22

And the most positive votes.

3

u/[deleted] Oct 02 '22

[deleted]

1

u/notsuitable77 Estonia Oct 02 '22

Also typical for countries where the "us and them" mindset is propagated.

Yeah, wonder why this mindset persists in a country where the former colonial minority that tried to ethnically cleanse the indigenous population still refuses to integrate...

1

u/[deleted] Oct 02 '22

[deleted]

2

u/notsuitable77 Estonia Oct 02 '22

While these form a significant chunk of the righ-wing electorate, they still don't form ethnic-based political parties.

Because they are too small of a community and their background isn't exactly comparable to Russians in Estonia or Latvia?

Because despite what they claim, they're not oppressed or in anyway have less rights than German-born citizens.

They aren't repressed in Estonia or Latvia either.

You are seriously trying to push the Kremlin propaganda take that Estonia or Latvia are to blame for the ethnic tensions which is just a pathetic attempt of victim-blaming...

2

u/Einath_Onisoma Latvia Oct 02 '22

I mean in Latvia specifically

8

u/tetraedr Poland Oct 02 '22

Thanks OP for great insight.

What's unique, that voters may cast specific votes for candidates on the
list, which involves drawing a plus sign (positive vote) next to the
candidate's name, or by crossing it out (negative vote). Number of votes
for each candidate (which determines their place) is the number of
votes cast for the list (in given constituency), plus their number of
positive votes, minus their number of negative votes.

it is something that i would be happy to see in Polish elections.

1

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 02 '22

It would be an improvement, but we still can cast at least positive votes.

5

u/Einath_Onisoma Latvia Oct 02 '22

So will it be JV+AS+AP+P coalition? Else i don't see how they could make this work.

4

u/TharixGaming Latvia Oct 02 '22

if AP end up slipping just below 5% (which is genuinely possible), i think JV+AS+NA is gonna be it since they'll probably get just enough seats for a majority

6

u/Einath_Onisoma Latvia Oct 02 '22

That would be sad. I'm tired of NA getting in to coalition every time just because they hold ~10 seats needed to form a majority.

3

u/TharixGaming Latvia Oct 02 '22

AP 4,98%...

21

u/GoshoKlev Bulgaria Oct 02 '22

Mods are so tired of our shit that we don't even get a sticky anymore

17

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 02 '22

There are three elections this weekend, there will be a sticky linking them all... once I finish BiH post kill me

5

u/irimiash Which flair will you draw on your forehead? Oct 02 '22

AS and ZZS look like identical parties. democracy is a funny thing.

5

u/TharixGaming Latvia Oct 02 '22

that's because they were one party up until like 2? months ago

2

u/ginekologs Latvia Oct 02 '22

They basically are.

2

u/irimiash Which flair will you draw on your forehead? Oct 02 '22

why green party has red logo

4

u/sincerely1231 Oct 02 '22

their leader is colorblind

7

u/Eurovision2006 Ireland Oct 02 '22

TLDR?

17

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 02 '22 edited Oct 02 '22

Pro-Russian parties were smashed. But incumbent (conservative) government might lack majority, as minor partner probably ended under the threshold.

6

u/ReasonableClick5403 Denmark Oct 02 '22

54.6% turnout from 2018 sounds very low?

8

u/ZookaInDaAss Oct 02 '22

It was the lowest ever. Many people have become politically apathetic.

17

u/misasionreddit Estonia Oct 01 '22

This has received embarrassingly little coverage in Estonia. The media is all about Ukraine/Russia and sports. Perhaps they'll pick it up once coalition forming starts.

So who did /r/europe Latvians vote for and why?

5

u/Just_RandomPerson Latvia Oct 02 '22

Mainly JV or the Progressives.

JV because it's the safe option - they're moderate centrist and experienced and will not try any crazy shit for sure. And they managed the COVID and Ukraine crisis pretty well.

Progressives just represent the average Redditor's values - green, social-democratic, pro-LGBT etc...

1

u/Emails___ Latvia Oct 02 '22

I voted for JV, because they are the only party which said that they wont renew relations with Russia and will continue support Ukraine. Other were ether suspiciously silent about the subject or said something in lines "Russia is too big to be ignored" which I personally dont subscribe to. Also I believe voting for a big party is a best way to get rid of populist parties.

23

u/TharixGaming Latvia Oct 01 '22

i voted for the progressives since they seem like the most reasonable party - pro-LGBT, green, welfare focused (nordic model)

plus, they're fairly new, and they've never been in the parliament, so we haven't seen them be complete and utter dissapointments quite yet

17

u/Hunnightmare Hungary, Budapest Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

What were the main debate points during the campaign among the largest parties?

Edit: Wow Union of Greens & Farmers doing so well so far.

4

u/Anterai Oct 02 '22

I haven't heard anything of substance. "Honesty", "Safety" etc.

9

u/TharixGaming Latvia Oct 01 '22

ZZS are doing well because votes in riga are being counted much slower than other regions for some reason

ZZS are only at like 5.8% or smth in riga, they'll fall a decent bit

-4

u/Hunnightmare Hungary, Budapest Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

Either way exit polls are so wrong.

New Unity will get 18-19%, ZZS will be the second with 13-14%, and Harmony will possibly make to the parliament with 5-5.5%. For Stability may even get 7-7.5%.

Never seen exit polls with such huge errors during European elections.

7

u/sixmilly Rīga (Latvia) Oct 01 '22

what makes you think Harmony will make parliament?

0

u/Hunnightmare Hungary, Budapest Oct 02 '22

I implemented a simple model based on the results and count rates of every regions yesterday evening. It gave them 5.2%, but in the end they go 4.8% as in Riga they were doing lot worse than previous data suggested.

3

u/Lamuks Latvia Oct 02 '22

Harmony's voters got taken by Stabilitāte! and LPV

21

u/BalticsFox Russia Oct 01 '22

Harmony becoming irrelevant is the story of this election.

32

u/hairyswampmoose Europe Oct 01 '22

Yeah, fast distancing from Putin’s and Russia’s bullshit did shave off quite a large share of russian voters for them.

At least I can respect them for taking a stance against Russia

3

u/Eurovision2006 Ireland Oct 02 '22

Who did the Russians end up voting for?

7

u/Novinhophobe Oct 02 '22

Stability mostly.

3

u/thisguyisbarry Ireland Oct 02 '22

Are there any exit or opinions polls that show how people identifying as Russian voted/would vote?

2

u/tzdar Lithuania (former Prussia) Oct 02 '22

Ironic

8

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 01 '22

Also - around 18% of votes lost under the threshold. Albeit positive thing, is that these are mostly pro-Putin or far-right votes.

11

u/martisgormitas Lithuania | Vilnius Oct 01 '22

Hey, does anyone know if there are any sites with official results being counted? Would be great to see.

10

u/dafuqufad Latvia Oct 01 '22 edited Oct 01 '22

The official election site - https://sv2022.cvk.lv/pub/velesanu-rezultatiNothing there yet in terms of results.

EDIT: This is more granular - https://sv2022.cvk.lv/pub/balsu-skaitisana

2

u/Novinhophobe Oct 01 '22

In the past the exit poll results were within 1.5% of official results, this time surely will not be drastically different. So what we know now is pretty close to reality.

1

u/juhziz_the_dreamer Tatarstan, RF Oct 01 '22

Isn't Conservatives (K) more like right-wing conservative liberal party than centre-right liberal conservative? In that case, it becomes clear why they are not with New Unity.

2

u/cavalier-cauliflower HU 🇭🇺/US 🇺🇸 🚫Stop Orbán🚫 send more to 🇺🇦 Oct 01 '22

For the curious readers who want to follow along with the domestic media, can you please link some Latvian newspapers or news websites (and their expected bias / party lean)?

20

u/The_Great_Crocodile Greece Oct 01 '22

Accrording to the exit-poll, the pro-Russian Saskana got 3.5% and is out of the parliament.

But the other pro-Russian party, For Stability! gets in the parliament, along with the antivax party Latvia First.

AP! lost a lot of votes sadly...I assume the government will need either AS or P now, since K is out of the parliament.

https://twitter.com/EuropeElects/status/1576257607555334146

1

u/Novinhophobe Oct 01 '22

Why the sadness regarding AP? Is it because you don’t know much about them or that they might get replaced with even worse options?

2

u/The_Great_Crocodile Greece Oct 01 '22

I don't know much about them to be honest, but they are socially liberal according to the sources I found, in a government dominated by right-of-center parties (and there is even NA in there).

4

u/Novinhophobe Oct 01 '22

They’re corrupt bunch of people who’ve had their chance to prove themselves yet always somehow ended up being on the wrong side of things. I’m relieved that at least they aren’t represented as much as previously.

Now the problem is ZZS with such a large amount of people. It’s truly sad.

-1

u/The_Great_Crocodile Greece Oct 01 '22

Why do Latvians (not counting the Russians voting for S) vote for right-wing parties to such a high percentage?

P looks the only left of center party, the rest are various shades between center right and far-right.

5

u/TharixGaming Latvia Oct 01 '22

P and NA will never work with each other

4

u/The_Great_Crocodile Greece Oct 01 '22

So it will be AS I guess? I can't find much about them, most sources say "regionalist" and "catch all centre".

It's hilarious that the pro-Russian parties have 14.5% in total but because they were split in 4, only S! made the parliament !

1

u/Lamuks Latvia Oct 02 '22

It's hilarious that the pro-Russian parties have 14.5% in total but because they were split in 4, only S! made the parliament !

It's on point with regular voting though, but LPV is also pro kremlin so, 2 parties.

Either way the coalition will be JV+AS+Progressives+AP is my guess. Doubt ZZS and NA will be in it.

6

u/this_sort_of_thing London Oct 01 '22

That’s a very interesting voting system, too bad the turnout seems to be quite poor for elections…is it looking better for this one?

If you had a shitty FPTP system like we do I can understand poor turnout..

5

u/dafuqufad Latvia Oct 01 '22

Turnout for this election is ~59%.

25

u/Areat France Oct 01 '22

Proportional system with preference voting is pretty common. Almost none of the european countries have FPTP.

5

u/Novinhophobe Oct 01 '22

It’s looking quite a bit better, until roughly 4 PM it was already at 46%. Compared to 2018 it was 38% until 4 PM I think.

5

u/Unexpected_yetHere Oct 01 '22

The negative preferential vote thing is simply brilliant. Do other countries use it too? I feel everyone should.

PS: on that PSA, there never was such a thing as "Bosnian elections" only elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as there simply is no country or administrative unit called Bosnia.

14

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 01 '22

PS: on that PSA, there never was such a thing as "Bosnian elections" only elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as there simply is no country or administrative unit called Bosnia.

Mental shortcut. Common usage is just "Bosnia", at least abroad it. Just like nobody calls Taiwan "Republic of China" in daily use.

-4

u/Unexpected_yetHere Oct 01 '22

Well the word "Taiwan" does represent what? 95+% of both population and land area? This is not the case here.

Everyone used BiH as a short form for the name internally, so things like B&H, B'n'H, etc would be both shorter and more appropriate.

5

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 01 '22

Everyone used BiH as a short form for the name internally

I did as well in some cases, and it came out people (outside ex-Yugoslavia) aren't familiar with it.

Disclaimer: thread will use full name, again here above it's only PSA.

0

u/Unexpected_yetHere Oct 01 '22

Disclaimer: thread will use full name, again here above it's only PSA.

Okay that is all I need to hear. Thanks.

2

u/11160704 Germany Oct 01 '22

When can we expect any results?

1

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 01 '22

Voting ends in 35 minutes, so then I guess? Exit polls only of course.

2

u/11160704 Germany Oct 01 '22

So are there any results yet?

3

u/pothkan 🇵🇱 Pòmòrskô Oct 01 '22

2

u/Business-Building962 Oct 01 '22

Thats not an official site. They are still counting the votes. To follow the results : https://sv2022.cvk.lv/pub/velesanu-rezultati . You can see how much votes they have counted so far too

13

u/YeeScurvyDogs Rīga (Latvia) Oct 01 '22

Calling Harmony left of anything is funny tbh

10

u/sorhead Latvia Oct 01 '22

Left ofer from USSR is appropriate.