One year in office: Lithuanians want more leadership from new president

Some 70 percent of Lithuanians would like to see more leadership from President Gitanas Nausėda, according to a survey conducted a year after the presidential election.

The online survey, commissioned by and conducted by Baltijos Tyrmai on May 19–21, polled 550 people aged 18 and above.

If the presidential election were held today, Nausėda would still make it to the second round, but would lose against Ingrida Šimonytė, the runner-up in the May 2019 election.

Some 38 percent of respondents said they would vote for Šimonytė and 29 percent for Nausėda. Meanwhile 18 percent said they would not vote for either candidate.

In total, 19 percent of respondents were happy with Nausėda’s current position and visibility.

In 2019, Nausėda beat Šimonytė in a run-off vote by 66 to 33 percent.

However, the relatively small number of respondents in the survey may not reflect accurately the sentiment across Lithuania, Mažvydas Jastramskis from Vilnius University’s Institute of International Relations and Political Science told

Conducting the poll online also favours Šimonytė’s electoral base, judging by results of previous surveys, according to Jastramskis.

Despite the negative ratings, people in Lithuania still “trust the president more than the parliament, the government or the parties”, he added.

Algis Krupavičius, a professor at Vytautas Magnus University (VDU) in Kaunas, also said the small number of respondents prevented the poll from reflecting the full range of opinions in Lithuania.

However, the survey does show the trust in Nausėda has decreased due to his “delayed reaction” during the pandemic.


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