How did Latvians abroad vote in the general election?

I’d sworn that the last post about the Latvian general election would be a one-off. However, Daina in the comments for that one mentioned that the figures for polling districts abroad were available on the central elections commission’s website. I’ll admit, my curiosity got the better of me and after a few days of tabulating it, I thought I’d put the results here.

There were three things that interested me.  Do Latvian expats generally vote the same way that those based in the motherland do? Are there parties which do better in some regions abroad rather than others? Lastly, does the expat vote make a difference to the result?

The foreign boxes came from a number of more exotic locations like Santiago de Chile, Beijing, Cairo, Dubai and Delhi, but, in the main, were from older and newer Latvian expat favourites like The USA, Canada, Scandinavia, UK, Ireland and Australia.

Overall, nearly 23,000 Latvian expats voted, which made up 2.5% of those voting. That would be the same as nearly 800,000 Brits abroad voting in the UK general election, so it’s not an insignificant number. So, to answer my first question, here, in percentages, are how expats voted compared to those still in Latvia.

PARTY ABROAD LATVIA
Unity 34 22
National Alliance 21 17
Regional Association 18 7
Harmony SDP 10 23
Greens and Farmers 8 20
For Latvia (Sudraba) 4 7

Unity and the Regional Alliance were the biggest beneficiaries, with a modest boost for the National Alliance as well. Harmony were the biggest losers, followed by the Greens.

So, secondly, what were the results for each country?

The figures below are ranked by the number of people who voted in each country, with percentages for each party shown after that.

Country TOTAL Unity NatAlliance RegionalAll Harmony Greens Hearties
UK 7205 24 17 27 11 11 4
USA 2231 53 34 3 2 3 2
Germany 1680 39 21 12 10 9 4
Ireland 1515 20 19 29 11 12 4
Norway 1428 23 18 25 10 12 6
Sweden 1283 36 18 19 10 10 4
Australia 934 47 46 2 1 1 1
Belgium 815 55 19 7 6 5 5
Denmark 777 32 20 23 8 7 5
Canada 718 55 34 4 3 3 1
Netherlands 499 35 17 25 10 6 3
Russia 483 15 8 3 52 6 5
France 388 44 21 9 10 6 5
Finland 377 31 23 12 10 14 5
Switzerland 347 41 17 14 12 8 3
Austria 330 36 27 6 9 11 5
Luxembourg 284 60 13 8 7 4 5
Estonia 212 39 16 10 17 6 5
Georgia 147 46 32 8 3 7 1
Lithuania 146 38 17 10 21 4 3
Iceland 140 11 21 28 7 14 7
Italy 109 54 23 7 5 2 5
Portugal 106 48 22 9 10 5 2
Poland 99 47 25 7 9 5 2
Hungary 93 56 16 9 9 9 0
United Arab Emirates 90 22 21 17 19 13 4
Belarus 88 31 9 7 27 10 7
Greece 84 45 20 7 17 5 5
Czech Rep 78 45 10 10 23 5 3
Ukraine 75 23 32 4 24 7 5
Spain 71 38 30 1 6 8 10
Central Africa military 38 32 13 13 11 13 13
Brazil 31 81 3 3 0 6 3
Afghanistan military 26 38 12 23 4 12 0
Azerbaijan 25 40 24 0 16 8 8
China 25 52 20 4 12 4 4
Uzbekistan 17 59 29 0 0 0 0
Japan 16 44 19 13 6 6 0
Kazakhstan 15 47 7 27 0 0 7
Turkey 11 45 27 18 0 0 9
Egypt 8 0 25 13 0 50 13
India 8 38 38 13 0 13 0
Chile 4 100 0 0 0 0 0

There are definite regional patterns. In North America (USA and Canada) the figures were broadly the same, Unity got a majority of votes with the National Alliance taking about a third of the vote and the other parties splitting the rest between them to end with a dismal vote share. In Australia, it was similar for the smaller parties, but Unity and National Alliance were very close in terms of votes.

Harmony did best, unsurprisingly, in Russia, where they took a majority of the votes. After that, they were close on a quarter of the votes in Belarus, Ukraine, The Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Ukraine was an interesting one and the results there reflect its polarisation in the real world. It was the only country (except for Egypt, where only 8 people voted) where the National Alliance, who take a harder line against Russia, outpolled Unity, who came third behind Harmony.

The Regional Alliance had a good showing abroad, especially in north-west Europe. In the UK, Ireland, Iceland, The Netherlands and the 3 Scandinavia countries, they were polling around 25% or higher. These countries also produced relatively better showings for the Greens/Farmers, who otherwise failed to excite the expats. Sudraba’s list only managed to excite a few of the soldiers in the Central African peace keeping mission.

Ultimately, there was one difference to the composition of parliament that came out of the results. The Regional Alliance gained an extra seat on the basis of the expat vote at the expense of Harmony. In fact, had the election been a little closer, it could have cost Harmony first place. Proof then, that no matter where you live, your vote does make a difference.

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “How did Latvians abroad vote in the general election?

  1. Ha! and who of them are the good guys? its not like there s much choice really. btw your review was like an eye opener for me. I mean with a teeny tiny nation like Latvia literally every vote counts and can tip the scales in someones favour. but even in my country Austria I feel like I can actually make a big difference. now that I see results of vote on the layout I feel ashamed for skipping elections last two times. no excuses anymore not to vote!

  2. Glad to see you found the information useful and interesting – nice calculations! And I love your last sentence: “Proof then, that no matter where you live, your vote does make a difference.” Amen, brother, amen!

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