National Election Studies Around the World and in Lithuania: Benefit for Decision Makers and Civil Society

Ainė RAMONAITĖ (Vilnius University)

The presentation’s purpose is to show the benefit of national election studies conducted in Lithuania and abroad for decision makers and civil society. It briefly surveys the global tradition of national election studies and introduces the data that have been collected by the Lithuanian Election Study conducted since 2012. Then, by drawing on concrete examples from the study of the 2020 election of the Seimas, it attempts to find out how the results of the national Election Study could contribute to the improvement of the quality of political representation. As regards decision makers, such data allow them to gain more in-depth knowledge about Lithuania’s citizens: to verify to whom in fact a mandate has been given by the Lithuanian electorate during an election of the Seimas (to a leader, a team or a specific political programme), realise which decisions are prioritised by voters, what are the thoughts of those citizens who deliberately ignore elections, etc. As regards citizens, the results of the Study allow to get better acquainted with their representatives and candidates during an election: to evaluate political opinions of parties and politicians and their dynamics, the unanimity of parties regarding specific political issues, and differences in political programmes or their absence.