Landslide win for Conservatives, Left significantly short of 5% threshold.
In Latvia, the months-long conflict over the Ukraine and, in particular, the Russian actions have influenced the elections to the European Parliament more strongly than domestic factors. This is part of why the governing conservatives were able to win half of Latvia’s seats. In all, 14 election committees competed in the elections, and five lists will be sending members to the European Parliament.
The conservative block “Unity”, which was formed out of several groups in 2011, left all the other parties far behind. The eight new Latvian MEPs will include two Russians, one Harmony representative, who is critical of the Kremlin’s current Ukraine policy, and one Russian minority representative, who has lent unequivocal support to the Kremlin’s stance.
The Socialist Party founded in 2009 by the incumbent MEP Alfred Rubiks fell significantly short of the 5% threshold. Rubiks entered the European Parliament for Harmony in 2009 and joined the GUE/NGL group.
Voter turnout: 30.8% (2009: 52.5%)
Unity (conservative): 46.2% / 4 seats
All for Latvia (patriotic): 14.2% / 1 seat
Harmony: 13.0% / 1 seat
Union Greens and Agrarians: 8.3% / 1 seat
Russian minority: 6.4% / 1 seat
IN POWER: Unity (centre-right)
Radical left party in the EP: 1 seat of 8
As the last country to enter the euro zone in January 2014, Latvia boasts the highest growth rate in the EU in 2013 (11.4%), but its unemplyoment rate remains high and lies above 11%. The Harmony Centre is an electoral alliance which was established in 2005 between the Social Democratic Party “Harmony” (socialist) and the much smaller Socialist Party of Latvia (communist). After the general elections of September 2011 it became the strongest electoral force of the country.The majority of its deputies are members of the Russian-speaking minority. It was the first time that a party of the left ranked first in general elections after the country’s independence in 1991.