True Lithuania

Incumbent Grybauskaitė wins elections, but runoff needed

2014 05 13. The results of the first round of Lithuanian presidential elections:

Dalia Grybauskaitė 45,89%
Zigmantas Balčytis 13,63%
Artūras Paulauskas 12,02%
Naglis Puteikis 9,33%
Valdemar Tomaševski 8,23%
Artūras Zuokas 5,22%
Bronis Ropė 4,15%

Turnout 52,14%, 1,53% of ballots were damaged.

A runoff Dalia Grybauskaitė (centre-leftist) vs. Zigmantas Balčytis (leftist, Socialdemocrat) will take place after two weeks.

While it seems that Grybauskaitė will win a second term Lithuanian runoffs are known to be quite unpredictable. For instance in 2002, Valdas Adamkus won 35,06%-19,4% in the 1st round, but lost the runoff 44,83%-54,15%, while in 1997 Artūras Paulauskas won the 1st round 44,73%-27,56% but lost the runoff 49,22%-49,96%. Moreover, in the previous 2009 elections Grybauskaitė was elected without a runoff (68,21% votes), meaning her support has withered.

When commenting the elections Lithuanian political sciences consider the high performance of environmentalist Puteikis to be surprising, however being the only candidate without a political party behind him he may have gathered the usual "protest votes", including the supporters of banned candidate Rolandas Paksas and anti-secrecy activist Zigmas Vaišvila (who cancelled his campaign).

Valdemar Tomaševski consolidated his support among all ethnic minorities, whereas previously it was limited to Poles. He improved his result from 4,68% of votes in 2009 elections.

The low performance of Artūras Zuokas is surprising to some, especially since he has been the only rightist candidate and extremely capable at public relations. However, A. Zuokas has been involved in several corruption scandals as a mayor of Vilnius and thus the support of rightist voters switched to centre-left Grybauskaitė.

Artūras Paulauskas (Labour party) is likely not happy as well as he was widely considered to be the only true contender to capture the 2nd runoff place from Zigmantas Balčytis.

Further analysis of candidates available here.

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