June 12, 2004
The conservative coalition Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK appears to have captured at least 30 percent of the vote in the June 12 European Parliament election in Latvia, according to exit poll results reported by Baltic News Service. Official results won’t be announced until June 13, according to the Central Elections Commission.
The BNS exit poll shows 30.46 percent of the vote going to TB/LNNK (For Fatherland and Freedom/Latvian National Independence Movement). Another 19.65 percent went to the conservative Jaunais laiks (New Era), the party led by former Prime Minister Einars Repše. Coming in third was the left-wing and heavily Russian party Par cilvēka tiesībam vienotā Latvijā (For Human Rights in United Latvia, or PCTVL).
BNS also reported that the liberal Latvijas ceļš got 6.33 percent, while the conservative Tautas partija (People’s Party) got 6.22 percent.
All other parties, according to the BNS survey, got less than 5 percent, which would put them out of the running for one of the nine seats Latvia will have in the parliament.
A separate exit poll by the news agency LETA and Stradiņš University of Rīga found similar results. TB/LNNK got support from 28.5 percent of voters polled, Jaunais laiks received 21.24 percent and PCTVL earned 10.13 percent. The poll also shows Latvijas ceļš with 6.84 percent and Tautas partija with 6.75 percent.
More than 575,000 people cast ballots, or 41.27 percent of the country’s 1.39 million eligible voters, according to preliminary data from the Central Elections Commission. More than 3,000 absentee ballots were sent to Latvian citizens living or staying abroad.
(UPDATED 13 JUN 2004)
Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000-2012 he was editor of the website.