Center Party retakes lead in popularity poll ({{commentsTotal}})

The Center Party emerged at the top of the Turu-uuringute AS popularity poll with three weeks to go to the general elections.

The poll commissioned by ERR and conducted in late January found that the Center Party had increased its popularity in the last month, rising to 26 percent, while the Reform Party was second with 22 percent.

The parties had been tied with 24 percent each in December.

The Social Democrats came third with 16 percent, just edging out the IRL (15 percent).

Two other parties, the Conservative People's Party, often billed as Estonia's version of Ukip, and the newcomer the Free Party, an ideologically traditional conservative party, would also get into Parliament with 6 percent each.

Turu-uuringute AS research director Juhan Kivirähk said the Center Party and Reform had been leapfrogging for the last six months.

Kivirähk said that it was possible that the Reform Party had managed to alienate voters by "overdoing it on the campaign," which has mainly been based on stressing oppositions to the Center Party.

At the same time, he credited the Reform Party for being able to neutralize both IRL (the former government partner) and the Social Democrats (the current one).

But Kivirähk said both IRL and SDE had also ceded supporters to the two parties not in parliament right now - Free Party and Conservative People's Party.

The difference between the poll and the election is that on March 1 (and in advance and e-voting), voters will be voting for specific names. "If the two popular figures in the Conservative People's Party - Mart Helme and Martin Helme - do not appear in a given voter's district, those votes may not go to the Conservatives," added Kivirähk.

The sample size was over 1,000 people.

Editor: K. Rikken

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