Grybauskaite takes over Butkevicius in popularity polls

  • 2016-03-21

A poll conducted between March 8-13 has shown that the popularity of Lithuanian Prime Minister, Algirdas Butkevicius, has dropped by 4 percentage points. 

The survey was carried out by the Vilmorus company for the Lithuanian daily, Lietuvos Rytas.

The results showed the the Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis remains the most popular politician in Lithuania. 

Following Butkevicius’ drop, President Dalia Grybauskaite rose to second in the rankings. 

The poll indicted that in March 2016, 50.7 percent of those asked had a positive opinion about the prime minister, when compared to 55.1 percent the previous month. The percentage of those with a negative opinion about Butkevicius increased from 21.9 to 25.5 percent.

Vilmous head, Vladas Gaidys, says the drop in the prime minister's rating is due to the recent corruption scandal related to Vijunele Manor in the southern resort of Druskininkai.

The affect has also affected the popularity of Butkevicius’ Social Democrat party. 

"The government's popularity has decreased and has been decreasing for several months in a row," Gaidys told BNS Lithuania.

"This scandal had an impact on, firstly, Environment Minister Kestutis Treciokas, and then on the prime minister.”

Gaidys believes this is why Grybauskaite has overtaken Butkevicius in terms of popularity. 

Only 9.5 percent of people surveyed had a positive opinion about Treciokas, compared to 15.3 percent in February. The number of those with a negative opinion jumped from 19.8 to 36.3 percent.

Interior Minister Skvernelis remains the most popular politician in Lithuania, with 60.9 percent people having a positive opinion about him; compared to 59.7 percent in February. 

Grybauskaite's rating increased from 51.7 percent in February to 52.8 percent in March.

Seimas Speaker, Loreta Grauziniene, who represents the Labour Party, has a popularity of 19.3 percent, compared to 18.3 percent in February.