Public figures turn in disappointing election results
Last year saw a rush of public figures joining political parties, but most failed to live up to the hype at the March 1 general election.
Former Defense Forces commander Ants Laaneots was the most successful candidate to come into mainstream politics, although he did run at the 2013 local elections as well. Laaneots won 5,907 votes running for the Reform Party in Tartu.
He joined the party at the same time as another former military chief, Johannes Kert, in October last year. Kert could only amass 752 votes in the Järva and Viljandi County district.
A total of 565,000 people voted for the six parties and 101 new MPs, meaning each MP seat cost around 5,600 votes. However, only 14 candidates amassed more than 5,600 votes.
Others names from the non-political arena who disappointed were Tanel Talve (Social Democrats), a television presenter, who won 2,294 votes, more than four times less than at the European Parliament elections less than a year ago.
IRL attracted many journalists, but only Viktoria Ladõnskaja (1,395 votes in Tallinn) made an impact. Former Postimees EiC Anvar Samost got just 761 seats in his district, Ida-Viru County, despite heavy political ads and 1,202 voted for Igor Taro, who covered the Ukraine conflict for ERR and Postimees. Still, that is over 500 votes more than Maire Aunaste (676 votes in Võru, Valga and Põlva district, the same district as Taro), a long-serving ETV presenter.
Nikolai Novosjolov (Reform Party), a fencing world champion, won 1,016 votes in Tallinn, while Elena Glebova (Center Party), former figure skater, fared far worse, picking up just 310 votes in Tallinn. She featured in a taxpayer-funded ad campaign with Edgar Savisaar.
The Social Democrats fielded two well-known public figures in journalist Andrei Hvostov and Reform Party whistleblower Silver Meikar, both in Tallinn, and both are likely to be disappointed with the results. Hvsotov got 740 votes, Meikar two fewer.