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The results of the survey on electoral emotions in Lithuania

before the 2-nd round of presidential elections (26 of May 2019)

28 June, 2019

The method of the survey:

Sociological CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interviewing) research. Sociologists interviewed 1,000 participants of the internet-panels, which represent Lithuanian public opinion on demographic and geographical levels.

The period of the survey: from 17th to 23rd of May, 2019.

The questionnaire was composed in order to reveal what emotion: hope, fear or humiliation, elicits each of two candidates for a presidential run: Ingrida Šimonytė and Gitanas Nausėda.

The general data showed that Gitanas Nauseda elicits the emotion of hope almost twice more often than Ingrida Simonyte. He practically does not evoke humiliation and evokes a rather low level of fear among voters.

What best describes the emotion you feel towards presidential candidates?

The reasons for emotions the politics elicit reveal the true relation, social problems, and preferences of different strata of Lithuanians.

The general results of the survey showed that Lithuanians are more concerned about the economic situation than the foreign policy of Lithuania: they hope that G. Nauseda “will achieve social justice in the country” (28,6% of the entire HOPE for this candidate) and “he will win corruption in Lithuania with the help of reforms” (32,8% of the entire HOPE for G. Nauseda), only 9% of those who hope for G. Nauseda care about the foreign policy – they hope that he will continue the firm policy towards Russia's Government.

The partisans of I. Simonyte more often hope that “she will continue Grybauskaite’s legacy of maintaining a firm, no-nonsense attitude toward the Kremlin and protect our independence” (30,4% of the HOPE for I. Simonyte), they hope very much that she “will effectively pursue social justice in the country” (43,4% of the HOPE for I. Simonyte), they don`t believe at all that she can how to eradicate corruption in the country (only 3,4% of the Hope for I. Simonyte).

I. Simonyte elicits a rather high level of fear among Lithuanians – almost every fifth (19,3% of polled) is feeling fear of her as a politic.

The reasons for this emotion are:

- She will protect the interests of the rich people, rather than ordinary people (34,5% of the Fear for I. Simonyte)

- I am afraid that the conflict with Russia will be her excuse for declining living standards (25,2% of FEAR)

- She will not be able to fight corruption effectively (21,8% of the FEAR for I. Simonyte)

Remarkable that I. Simonyte elicits most of Humiliation because “She is concerned with the immediate needs of her surroundings, rather than the interests of the people” (53,9% of the entire HUMILIATION) it can be associated with the fact that I. Simonyte participated in elections as an independent candidate but with the financial support of the Party of Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats.

21,3% of those who chose Humiliation, feel this emotion because “The President of Lithuania cannot be a person who has failed to build traditional relationships”.

Reasons for mass emotions for Gitanas Nauseda

Reasons for mass emotions for Ingrida Šimonytė

Emotions of big cities

The survey showed the difference between the inhabitants of cities with population more than 200 000 and small towns (less than 2000 people).

Both candidates elicit quite equal hope among the citizens of big cities: Ingrida Simonyte - 40,3% and G. Nauseda - 39,5%.

Vice versa, inhabitants of small towns and villages (less than 2000 people) are hoping for G. Nauseda (44%) while I. Simonyte elicits only 17,2% of hope and 26% of fear.

The full results of the “emotional survey” of OMF have numerous stratum: generations, genders, level of welfare, nationality, etc.

The Open Mind Foundation got the results of polls 3 days before the day of Presidential elections (26 of May 2019)/ Having analyzed the results The President of OMF, Savik Shuster assumed in media that G. Nauseda will win the elections with a considerable margin.

The result of hope for I. Simonyte amounted 31,9% among those who planned to vote. She got 32,86% on elections. So the level of hope for this candidate had been quite equal to the real results.

The research of mass emotions by OMF allow to consider the risk point to which the newly elected president G. Nauseda has to pay attention at: the inhabitants of big cities, men, the generation 19-29 etc.

We see that the urgent social problems of Lithuania the new President has to start to improve – the corruption and social inequality. In this case, he will definitely unite the nation.

Researchers asked questions not only about mass emotions. The found out the attitude of Lithuanians to their deputies in the Europe Parliament and their attitude to the possibility to enter the Europe Union for Ukraine.

Which statement most closely resembles how you feel? (choose one option please)

- Lithuanian MEPs protect our interests and do everything to make us live better – 33,7%

- Lithuanian MEPs only collect high salaries and do nothing for us – 66,3%.

Do you think that the European Union should be expanded to include Ukraine?

- Yes – 46,4%

- No – 23,7%

- Hard to say – 29,9%

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