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Published: 27 december 2012 08:28

Lithuanian Prime Minister overtakes President Dalia Grybauskaitė in popularity ratings

Dalia Grybauskaitė ir Algirdas Butkevičius
Juliaus Kalinsko / 15min nuotr. / Dalia Grybauskaitė and Algirdas Butkevičius

Lithuanian people rate the country's new Social Democratic Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius better than President Dalia Gybauskaitė, a longtime leader in approval ratings.

Thus shows a survey carried out by public opinion and market research company Vilmorus for the Lietuvos Rytas daily between 7 and 17 December.

58.3 percent of Lithuanian people rate the prime minister positively, compared to 52.3 percent in November. Meanwhile the president lost some of her supporters, with her rating falling to 50.3 percent from 59.1 percent in November.

In terms of representing people's interests, the president is still rated slightly above the prime minister. 17.6 percent of those surveyed said that the president is the one who best represents their interests (compared to 15.9 percent in November), followed by the prime minister with 16.1 percent (10.6 percent in November).

Viktor Uspaskich, leader of the Labor Party who is currently standing trial for fraudulent bookkeeping in the party, is rated positively by 38.3 percent of people (38.4 percent in November), and the ratings of Rolandas Paksas, leader of the Order and Justice Party, was up to 36.4 percent from 34.1 percent in November. 7.2 percent of people (compared to 6.5 percent in November) said Uspaskich is the politician representing their interests best. 2.4 percent (3.2 percent in November) named Paksas.

Eligijus Masiulis, leader of the Liberal Movement, had his popularity ratings dropped to 31.8 percent in December from 34.2 percent in November. 24.7 percent of people rated Neringa Venckienė, leader of the Path of Courage Party, positively, compared to 23.8 percent in November. And the popularity of Ramūnas Karbauskis, leader of the Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union, was down slightly to 19.8 percent from 22.5 percent. Vilnius Mayor Artūras Zuokas was rated positively by 17.4 percent, compared to 16.2 percent in November.

Former Prime Minister and leader of the Homeland Union–Lithuanian Christian Democrats, Andrius Kubilius, was rated positively by 14.3 percent, compared to 18.8 percent in November. Only 2.5 percent (4.5 percent in November) of indicated him as the politician who represents people's interests best.

Kubilius' deputy in the party and former Speaker of the Seimas, Irena Degutienė, was named the politician representing people's interests best by 4.7 percent, unchanged from November.

Social Democrats retain popularity

The Social Democratic Party of Lithuania would win general elections if they were held this week, according to the Vilmorus survey. 26.4 percent of people would vote for them.

Over the last month, the Social Democrats saw their ratings rise over 4 percentage points, from 22 percent.

The Labor Party came in second with 18 percent in December, compared to 18.4 percent last month. Meanwhile the rating of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats dropped to 8.1 percent, compared to 11.4 percent in November.

6.9 percent of people would now vote for the Order and Justice Party (6.8 percent in November), and the Liberal Movement would get 5.9 percent of votes, compared to 5.4 percent last month.

The remaining parties would not exceed the 5-percent threshold. The Lithuanian Peasant and Greens Union would receive 3.2 percent of the vote (3 percent in November), followed by the Path of Courage Party, which managed to get 7 seats in the Seimas after October's election. The party would now get only 3 percent (compared to 4.3 percent in November). And the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, with 8 seats in the Seimas, would receive only 2.3 percent of the vote (compared to 2.5 percent in November). The remaining parties would get 1.1 percent.

12 percent of people surveyed said they would not vote in general elections at all, and 10.6 percent were undecided.

Growing trust in parliament

Lithuanians have a lot of trust in firefighters and the country's education system, while public trust in the Seimas and the government has increased slightly.

90.5 percent of people surveyed have trust in firefighters. Despite being in the bottom of the list, the Seimas and the Cabinet moved up the ladder a little over a month. 20.5 percent of people now say they trust the government, compared to 14.7 percent in November. Trust in the Seimas grew to 11.5 percent, compared to 6.6 percent a month ago.

People have least trust in political parties, with 6.4 percent saying they trust parties, compared to 5.8 percent in November.

Meanwhile 53 percent trust the education system. Also among the most trusted institutions are the army (53.9 percent), the Church (52.3 percent), the SoDra (State Social Insurance Fund) (52.1 percent), the Constitutional Court (44.5 percent), the healthcare system (46.3 percent), the police (42.2 percent), the media (38.7 percent). The ratings of these institutions remain fairly unchanged.

42.2 percent trust the President's Office, down from 48.1 percent in November.

28.4 percent of people have trust in state ombudsmen, followed by municipalities (29.2 percent), prosecutors (21.6 percent) and courts (21 percent). 31.1 percent have trust in banks. Prosecutors and courts' ratings dropped from 16.8 and 16 percent, respectively.

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