A fresh poll of elector preferences conducted by ERR shows that less than a week out from the Sept. 24 elections, Marina Kaljurand is maintaining only the slightest edge over Siim Kallas in the electoral college.
Kaljurand had the support of 69 electors while Kallas had the support of 68; Mailis Reps followed with the support of 61, Allar Jõks of 58 and Mart Helme of 10 electors. Of 335 total electoral college members, 64 did not state their preference while 5 were unable to be reached.
According to University of Tallinn political scientist Tõnis Saarts, the poll results showed that it is going to be a tight race in the electoral college on Saturday, however the three most likely contenders for making it to the second round of voting have emerged.
"Siim Kallas and Marina Kaljurand have the best chances for this, which has been indicated by other polls conducted among electors — both Eesti Ekspress' and Postimees'," explained Saarts to ERR. "They all demonstrate the fact that Mailis Reps has a pretty good chance and tht Allar Jõks' odds shouldn't be written off completely. The situation is rather unpredictable. The likelihood that Kaljurand will make it into the second round is fairly high, especially considering the fact that she is the second choice of many electors, but it's not possible to make very solid predictions."
It is worth noting, however, that a significantly larger number of electors did not indicate their second choice, so those answers should be taken with a grain of salt.
According to Saarts, political parties will try to strike deals with each other before the second round, as before the first round everyone will try to support their own candidate. The political scientist found, however, that Mart Helme's limited support among electors is an indication that former members of the People's Union of Estonia (Eestimaa Rahvaliit, ER), of whom many are in power on the local government level, do not consider themselves to be tied to the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).
ERR conducted the poll from Sept. 14-20. Those who had indicated Eiki Nestor to be their preferred candidate were asked on Tuesday to state their new preferred candidate, following Eiki Nestor's decision not to run for president in the electoral college round. Many of these electors ended up naming Marina Kaljurand as their new preferred candidate, however Mailis Reps received a significant amount of new support as well.
Editor: Editor: Aili Vahtla