ERR News poll: 78% see Free Party in government ({{commentsTotal}})

Stenbock House, seat of the Estonian government
Stenbock House, seat of the Estonian government Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

Shortly after the initial results of the March 1 general election were released, ERR News asked its readers which parties are the likeliest to form the new cabinet.

The vast majority, 93 percent, said the Reform Party will be in the new government. That comes as no surprise considering they are in power now and won the election - even if by a mere 2.9 percent - and have so far led the coalition talks.

Perhaps more surprising was the prospect, according to our readers, of the Free Party entering government. The party only won eight seats, giving it one, maximum two, ministries in any potential government. Yet 41 percent said it is likely to join the Reform Party and SDE in the government. Another 31 percent said its partners will be the Reform Party and IRL, while 6 percent opted for the minority Reform-Party-less government of the Center Party, SDE and the Free Party.

Only 11 percent thought the Center Party would make it into government, while the Social Democrats, 63, were favored over IRL, 47.

The main question for our readers was which of the third and fourth placed parties, the Social Democrats (15 seats) or IRL (14 seats), will join the Reform Party and the Free Party in the government. Either combination would add up to a slight majority in the Parliament.

What the News staff failed to spot, and readers failed to vote for under the “other” category was the current four-way talks. Currently consultations are ongoing between the Reform Party, Social Democrats, IRL and the Free Party, although any of the last three could be dropped in advanced rounds, as happened to the Greens eight years ago.

ERR news asked its readers which coalition is the most likely to govern Estonia the next four years:

41 percent – Reform Party + Social Democrats + Free Party
31 percent – Reform Party + IRL + Free Party
16 percent - Reform Party + Social Democrats + IRL
6 percent – Center Party + Social Democrats + Free Party
5 percent - Reform Party + Center Party
2 percent - other or a minority government

A total of 197 people voted in the poll.

Editor: J.M. Laats