After a recent stand-off between the Social Democratic Party and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius on the one side and President Dalia Grybauskaitė on the other, analysts wonder who of the two massively popular politicians will suffer a greater hit on their ratings.
PM Algirdas Butkevičius and President Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Last week, the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party said that the president has been subjecting the government to "obvious and continued" pressure since its term began. PM Butkevičius even suggested that Grybauskaitė had been deliberately undermining his government's credibility with foreign leaders.

Political analyst Vytautas Bruveris and public relations specialist Liutauras Ulevičius agree that the Social Democrats will not avoid confrontation with President Grybauskaitė as the parliamentary elections are approaching.

Sociologist Vladas Gaidys, director of the public opinion pollster VILMORUS, said: “I think that ratings of both of these politicians will fall. In such a case, someone else‘s rating might rise. There have been such cases.”

Mr. Ulevičius believes that the president has a stable circle of supporters, while the Social Democrats have made a series of mistakes. “I think the Social Democratic Party will not stop the fall of their popularity easily and erosion will continue. At the same time the president's ratings will remain relatively stable. If she takes a more proactive approach, I think her ratings may even jump up.”

Mr. Bruveris has a different view. “Perhaps the left-wing electorate is expecting a stronger position, and the pacifist position of the party is even annoying. So the confrontation can be beneficial to the ratings of the Social Democrats and the president's popularity could even weaken. The balance is definitely not tipping in favour of the president, when it comes to the most popular political leaders. Mr. Butkevičius is more popular than the president,” said Bruveris.


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