The October 20 local elections will be contested in 215 local governments, but in 11 of them the vote will be a mere formality as too few candidates are challenging the dominant political forces in those areas.
In seven municipalities, local election coalitions will win whatever the outcome of the actual voting, while IRL and the Social Democrats can each already count on two victories. In each case, the number of opposing candidates is so low that, even if they garner 100 percent of the votes, they will still only fill a minority of the council seats.
The eleven municipalities are:
1. Kõpu (Viljandi County, population 704 according to the 2011 census) - local coalition “Kõpu Neighborhood” has set up 11 candidates, who will face a lone candidate from the Center Party and another from IRL.
2. Kõo (Viljandi County, 1,014) - one candidate from the Center Party and one individual candidate are running against 19 members of the local coalition “Home Municipality.”
3. Mõisaküla City (Viljandi County, 825) - one member of an election coalition and three Center Party candidates are facing 20 IRL candidates for the council.
4. Sangaste (Valga County, 1,286) - three Reform Party, one Center Party and an individual candidate are set to face 16 Social Democrats.
5. Taheva (Valga County, 771) - IRL has set up 13 candidates, who will face three from the Reform Party.
6. Laimjala (Saare County, 607) - a local coalition simply named “Laimjala” has put up ten candidates, who will face two Center Party and one IRL candidate.
7. Salme (Saare County, 1,018) – 14 coalition “Cooperation” members will take on two IRL and one Reform Party candidates.
8. Kihnu Island (Pärnu County, 487) - a lone Reform Party candidate is up against 19 members of the coalition “A Better Kihnu.”
9. Tootsi (Pärnu County, 744) - ten Social Democrats are running against two Reform Party candidates.
10. Aegviidu (Harju County, 761) - three IRL candidates have no hope of beating 15 members of the election coalition “There is Only One Aegviidu.”
11. Illuka (Ida-Viru County, 868) - one Center Party and one IRL candidate will face 13 “Home Municipality Illuka” coalition members.
The size of each council is decided by the previous council, but according to law, it must have an odd number of members and no fewer than seven. The minimum number of seats is tied to the official population of the municipality.