Party ratings: Social Democrats accuse opposition of populism, IRL optimistic
Asked to comment on the fresh party ratings out on Friday, the chairman of the Social Democrats’ parliamentary party said that the opposition resorted to populism to boost its ratings. His counterpart of IRL said a rise in the rating of IRL still lied ahead.
"It's not out of the ordinary that the longer one is in power, the better the opportunities of the opposition to improve their ratings. Because where the opposition can engage in populism, the ruling coalition has to deal with reality," Andres Anvelt (Social Democrats) told the Baltic News Service.
Anvelt said the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) improving its ratings was a good example of this. EKRE offered quick and easy solutions in a complex world, like they did on the issue of refugees, but which weren't statesmanly and wouldn't actually work. "People like it simple, and that's what they're building on to increase the number of their supporters," he added.
Priit Sibul, head of the parliamentary party of IRL, said that a rise in its rating was a matter of the future, as several important initiatives of the party hadn’t yet been implemented. IRL is currently at 6%, which is just above the 5% election threshold.
"IRL is the smallest partner in the coalition, therefore it's difficult to get topics that are important to us on the agenda. At the same time, the opposition can be a lot more radical when commenting on certain topics than is possible for us," Sibul said.
Sibul said that private education, the law on the protection of foreigners, and language requirements were important topics for IRL and hadn't been addressed yet. "Presenting the results of our actions on these subjects still lies ahead, which should have a positive effect on the rating too," he added.
The opposition Center Party and the ruling coalition's Reform Party are popular with 22% of voters each.
The Social Democrats and the Free Party are currently at 16%, while EKRE is at 13%.
Compared to December, Center's rating was down 3%, whereas the rating of the Reform Party was up 1%. The rating of SDE remained unchanged, the Free Party won 1%. EKRE’s rating increased by 2%, IRL lost 2%.