Outsider party upsurge could mobilize their voters, says political scientist

The Free Party, led by Andres Herkel, is one of two parties that might just squeak into a Parliament long dominated by four main parties, according to a poll. Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
2/9/2015 2:44 PM
Category: Politics

The latest poll results show two fringe parties, the Free Party and the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) are both closing in on the 5-percent election threshold, a development which could further mobilize their voters, says University of Tartu political scientist Mihkel Solvak.

“If we add the margin of error, which would be a little over 2 percent for the size [of the study], then they are seesawing above and below the 5-percent nationwide support. It is clear that this can only mobilize supporters. Even if there is only a slight chance, small parties will see more of their voters turn out. They feel that their vote might not be lost if they vote for small parties and the result could be higher than it would have been,” Solvak told ERR radio.

He said the two small parties have won voters over from IRL and the Social Democrats.

A fresh poll by Turu-uuringute AS puts the Center Party ahead with 26 percent (up 2 points compared to a month ago), followed by the Reform Party with 22 percent backing (down 2), then the Social Democrats (down 1 to 16 percent) and IRL (up 1 point to 15 percent). The poll also shows the Free Party and EKRE doubled their popularity to 6 percent each.

J.M. Laats

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