Europe 2009 – Latvia

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Latvia elected its first MEPs in 2004, when they elected 9 MEPs using a system of party-list proportional representation with Saint-Lague counting and a 5% threshold, with a single constituency. In 2009 they will elect 8 MEPs. Interestingly, the 5% threshold had the effect of transferring one seat from a party that polled 4.8% (only 14 votes ahead of another party) to the first-placed party. With only 8 MEPs being elected, the 5% threshold essentially becomes redundant, with parties needing more than 5% to win a seat. The 2004 result was:

  • Fatherland and Freedom (Union for Europe of the Nations) – 29.8%, 4 seats
  • New Era Party (European People’s Party) – 19.7%, 2 seats
  • For Human Rights in United Latvia (European Free Alliance) – 10.7%, 1 seat
  • People’s Party – (EPP) – 6.7%, 1 seat
  • Latvian Way – (European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) – 6.5%, 1 seat
  • Latvian Social Democratic Labour Party (Party of European Socialists) – 4.8%
  • People’s Harmony Party – 4.8%
  • Union of Greens and Farmers (European Greens/ELDRP) – 4.3%

At the time of the 2004 European election, Latvia was led by a centre-right minority government, mystifyingly led by the first ever Greens Prime Minister, Indulis Emsis. This government collapsed in December 2004. Rather than trying to explain the various coalitions, it’s probably worth showing the results of the 2006 election. I have  not been able to find any polls for the European election.

  • People’s Party (EPP) – 19.56%
  • Union of Greens and Farmers (EG/ELDRP) – 16.71%
  • New Era (EPP) – 16.38%
  • Harmony Centre (Russian parties) – 14.42%
  • Latvia’s First Party/Latvian Way – (None/ELDRP) –  8.58%
  • For Fatherland and Freedom (UEN) – 6.94%
  • For Human Rights in United Latvia (EFA) – 6.03%

So who knows what might happen next weekend. But it appears that most of Latvia’s MEPs, no matter what you do with the numbers, will go to conservative Europarties.

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