Fresh ratings: Social Democrats stealing Russian vote as Center Party falls heavily ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

In the newly released TNS Emor political party popularity ratings, the Social Democrats, IRL and the Reform Party all made gains while the Center Party dropped five points.

The swing came in the ethnic Russian demographic, the poll result indicated, with the percentage of Russian-speakers who would vote for the Center Party if national elections took place today, dropping from 81 to 72 percent. Twenty-two percent of Russian-speakers would vote for the Social Democrats, nearly double the figure last month (13 percent). Only 3 percent would vote for the Reform Party, while IRL scored a round 0 percent.

The Center Party also saw a drop in its ethnic Estonian following, decreasing from 14 to 10 percent.

Emor expert Aivar Voog said the Social Democrats managed to win over ethnic Russian votes due to the scandal involving Jürgen Ligi and Jevgeni Ossinovski, while the Reform Party's dominance can be explained by Eerik-Niiles Kross joining the party and the numerous ministerial changes.

In the combined monthly rating, the Reform Party built up its lead by 1 percentage point to 29, while IRL (now 18 percent) and the Social Democrats (22) both gained 2 percentage points. After the huge drop, the Center Party now has the backing of 22 percent of the vote. The Reform Party led by 1 point a month ago, but the party is ahead by 7 percentage points compared to the second most popular party.

The Greens are making a comeback among the non-established parties, and are just 1 point away from the election threshold, with 4 percent backing. The Greens have increased support by 1 percentage point two months in a row.

The Conservative People's Party dropped 1 percentage point and is now on 2, while the Free Party remains on par with October polls at 2 points.