Ingrida Šimonytė, Saulius Skvernelis, Gitanas Nausėda

Ingrida Šimonytė's ratings have risen significantly, bringing her to the second place in the presidential candidate ratings. The ratings of the other most popular candidates are stagnating, a survey by Spinter Tyrimai shows.

According to the results of the public opinion and market research company Spinter Tyrimai survey performed on October 16-30 on commission from the news portal Delfi, the top three most popular potential presidential candidates are economist Gitanas Nausėda, MP Ingrida Šimonytė and Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

G. Nausėda's ratings did not change much over the month, only within the 3.1% survey error margin. In September, his popularity reached 25.1%, while in October his ratings stood at 24.4%. I. Šimonytė rose from third place to second. Her ratings rose from 10.3% in September to 16.6% in October. S. Skvernelis' popularity remained stable, with ratings of 10.5% and 9.5% in September and October respectively.

9.2% of survey takers in October would have been inclined to vote for diplomat Vygaudas Ušackas, who has decided to not run for president. 4.9% supported Kaunas city Mayor Visvaldas Matijošaitis, 2.7% - MEP Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, 2.2% - "Farmer" leader Ramūnas Karbauskis.

2.1% of respondents would support economist, MEP Aušra Maldeikienė, 1.9% - philosopher Arvydas Juozaitis, 1.8% - MEP Antanas Guoga, 1.6% MP Naglis Puteikis, 0.9% European Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, 0.8% - MEP Valentinas Mazuronis and 0.5% - MEP Petras Auštrevičius.

2.5% of respondents would not vote for any candidate, 8.2% did not know, who they would vote for and 10.2% would not vote at all.

Only one candidate's popularity rose

Head of public opinion and market research centre Vilmorus, sociologist Vladas Gaidys stated that a month ago, in a survey that asked respondents to specify their own candidates, it was G. Nausėda, I. Šimonytė, S. Skvernelis and V. Ušackas.

"G. Nausėda's ratings were saturated, I. Šimonytė's rose greatly, while S. Skvernelis and V. Ušackas' ratings growth halted," V. Gaidys said.

The sociologist noted that I. Šimonytė has risen above the Conservatives electorate ceiling and has backing even from those, who would not vote for the Conservatives, instead supporting her individually.

"This is not some Homeland Union (TS) candidate, but more perceived, as it happens, that the TS tagged along for company with her," V. Gaidys mused.

The sociologist does not believe that fierce criticism of the voters has been any benefit to S. Skvernelis.

"S. Skvernelis' pointed statements had bonuses where he fought with important political figures, powerful institutions. In this case, if he speaks up against teachers – this is not a fight, it is beating someone who is down," V. Gaidys said.

Doubt S. Skvernelis candidacy

General Jonas Žemaitis Lithuanian War Academy pro-rector for science and studies, professor Jūratė Novagrockienė believes that I. Šimonytė's popularity gains were influenced by the Conservative primaries.

"That more than just party members could vote was an excellent public relations activity for the candidates to advertise themselves in public. Professional debates were organised, questions formed clearly, the candidates positions were clarified. I believe that this was one of the main reasons why I. Šimonytė's ratings rose an entire six percent over the month," J. Novagrockienė stated.

The political scientist was unwilling to hazard a guess of whom the "Farmers" could support in the elections.

"Perhaps they want to have their own candidate, but they have a leadership crisis," J. Novagrockienė said.

R. Karbauskis himself is, according to her, a pragmatic leader.

"He calculates his steps carefully, but lacks charisma," J. Novagrockienė said.

According to the political scientist, there are ever fewer chances that a strong new candidate will surface in the electoral campaign, who would shuffle the cards.

"If a month ago it may have appeared a possible option, the more time passes, the lower the likelihood they could jump into the already departing train and successfully run a campaign. Unless this was a particularly strong external candidate, but so far I do not see one like that," J. Novagrockienė said.

The public opinion and market research company Spinter Tyrimai performed a public opinion survey on October 16-30, 2018 on commission by the Delfi news portal. Residents aged 18 to 75 participated. The survey was performed as a standardised interview. The survey was performed in 65 locations across Lithuania, distributed to represent the country's entire territory. 1005 respondents were interviewed. The distribution of survey takers is proportionate to the number of residents in the country's regions. The error margin is 3.1%.

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