Lithuania’s Left-wing opposition won the first round of parliamentary elections, dealing a blow to the conservative government and its unpopular austerity measures.

The Labour Party won nearly 20 per cent of the vote while the Social Democrats came in second with 18.5 per cent, the election commission said late Monday in Vilnius after votes from 99 per cent of the voting districts had been tallied. A third left-wing party had 7.4 per cent.

Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius’ conservative Homeland Party won 15 per cent of the vote with one governing partner getting 8.5 per cent and a third coalition party falling short of the threshold for seats in Parliament.

Voter turnout was more than 50 per cent, the election commission said.

In the first round, 70 members of the 141-seat Parliament are elected by proportional representation from party lists. In the second round on October 28, 71 members are to be directly elected.

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