True Lithuania

2020 Lithuanian parliamentary elections 2nd round results

2020 10 26 The remaining 68 seats of 141 were elected to the Lithuanian Parliament in the second round of the election today.

In Lithuania's dual electoral system, every person has two votes, one of which he gives to a party (and the parties share 70 seats according to these votes by the proportional system) while he gives the second one to a particular politician in his constituency (similarly to UK or USA). If such a politician gets 50%+1 of votes there, he is elected. However, this is rare, and if no politician scores 50% in the first round, a runoff (second round) is held. During this election, only 3 seats were won in the first round with the remainder contested in the second round today.

More information about the parties that contested the election may be found in our first round report, while the value systems explained here.

2020 Lithuanian parliamentary election results by seat

2020 Lithuanian parliamentary election results by seat

Contituency results

As usual, the results of the second round divided Lithuania rather neatly into the main cities and the countryside/towns.

The cities generally voted for rightist and centrist politicians, while the countryside (where Lithuania's post-1990 economic miracle is less felt) mostly voted for the left. With a multi-party system, though, both right and left are also divided along the lines of value systems and personal loyalties to particular star-politicians. Therefore, merely saying that right or left has won tells little.

Homeland Union won 27 seats in the constituencies. Together with 23 proportional seats, they will have 50 seats which is short of a majority (71) but enough to make them clear leaders in forming the coalition. In constituencies, Homeland Union prevailed in Vilnius and Kaunas, where they won 18 seats out of 20 available. In Vilnius, they mostly fended off challenges from the newly-formed radical Freedom Party (promoted by the mayor of Vilnius). In Kaunas, they fended off the ruling Peasants/Greens. Historically, Kaunas is the largest stronghold of Homeland Union, but a miscalculation 4 years ago led Homeland Union to field weak candidates in Kaunas expecting them to win anyways there. This election, however, Homeland Union did not repeat the mistake and fielded some of their leaders in Kaunas.

Peasants/Greens won 16 seats in the constituencies. Together with 16 proportional seats, they will have 32 seats. Peasants/Greens were generally forced to retreat into their traditional countryside and Šiauliai region heartland but there they remained strong, remaining both the strongest leftist party in Lithuania and the strongest party outside of the two largest cities. In general, the main difference between 2020 and 2016 election runoffs is the switch of the places between Preasants/Greens and Homeland Union: the latter replaced Peasants/Greens in the city constituencies Peasants/Greens managed to take by surprise in 2016, and so the total number of seats won by Peasants/Greens in the constituencies halved while those of Homeland Union more than doubled.

Liberal Movement won 7 seats in the constituencies. Together with 6 proportional seats, they will have 13 seats. That way, they overtook Freedom Party in the number of seats in what was a derby among this traditional liberal party and a new break-away Freedom Party. Historically strongest in the cities, this time Liberals grabbed seats here and there all over Lithuania, including towns and countryside (but mainly in Western Lithuania), mostly based on personal trust some of their politicians gained in their regions rather than support for the party policies.

Socialdemocrats won 5 seats in the constituencies. Together with 8 proportional seats, they will have 13 seats. While avoiding the total defeat through some strong politicians they have, Socialdemocrats will remain the second leftist party after Peasants/Greens. They won each of their seats in the countryside and small towns. While this is common for leftists in Lithuania to be stronger there, Socialdemocrats still used to score in some of the city constituencies - yet this time the largest town they won was Kėdainiai of 22 000 inhabitants (this trend was similar in 2016).

Freedom Party won 3 seats in the constituencies. Together with 8 proportional seats, they will have 11 seats. Part of Freedom Party's proportional vote success was rooted in protest votes. This regular group of Lithuanian voters typically vote for the strongest "new" party believing its "clean" politicians will change the face of "corrupt" politics. While this group is large, arguably in no constituency it ever makes up 50% of voters or more. Thus, while it is easy for such parties to pass 5% of the vote necessary to get proportional representation, it is next to impossible to gain 50% of the vote anywhere. Yet, Freedom Party is not simply a protest party as it also has a unique agenda that genuinely appeals to some (especially those most Westernized). It gained a few seats on that or the local popularity of some politicians.

Labour Party won just 1 constituency despite having won 9 seats in the proportional system, taking 10 seats in total. Labour Party is heavily centred around its star-politician leader Viktor Uspaskich and thus nearly lacks other politicians famous enough to win constituencies.

A few additional parties won seats in the constituencies despite winning no seats in the proportional system.
Pole's Electoral Action won 3 seats in the Polish-majority regions.
Socialdemocratic Labour Party that consists of famous politicians who left Socialdemocrats over disagreements over participation in ruling coalition won 3 seats.
Freedom and Justice won one seat by a locally strong politician.
Green Party won one seat, however, it was won by a former prime minister Butkevičius who transferred to Greens from Socialdemocrats rather than by any historically Green candidate.

Furthermore, 4 seats were won by independents.

As an interesting side note, in Utena constituency, two candidates won an equal number of votes - Gintautas Paluckas (the leader of Socialdemocrats) and Edmundas Pupinis (Homeland Union) received 7075 votes each. According to the Lithuanian law, the older candidate will be declared the winner, this being Pupinis. However, in reality, this may change after a vote recount.

Article written by Augustinas Žemaitis

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