Center Party Emerges as Most Popular, Reform Party's Gains Undermined by Vote Rigging Scandal

Reform Party blue-yellow ads Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
6/14/2013 10:26 AM
Category: Politics

The Center Party has edged ahead of the Social Democrats as the party with the most support in the monthly public support poll conducted by Emor and commissioned by ERR, while analysts saw the Reform Party's internal election fiasco as having spoiled its chance at outdoing the opposition parties. 

In the June results just released, the ruling Reform Party was supported by 24 percent of respondents - the same as in the previous month, and third behind the Center Party (28 percent) and Social Democrats (26 percent).  But one would be mistaken to infer that the scandal has not taken its toll, analysts at uudised.err.ee said.

That's because the scandal had not yet escalated during the first of two polling periods, when support for Reform rose to 29 percent - dramatically higher than the 20-25 percent seen over the last six months.

With that, the party could have taken the lead, but in the second polling period, when the vote rigging scandal hit, support fell to 20 percent. Overall, the party's support was clocked at 24 percent, putting it in third place.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties' combined support reached 54 percent, as opposed to the coalition's 38 percent, with the gap having increased by 3 percent since May.

The Center Party, which dominates Tallinn politics, was the most popular in June, at 28 percent and up 2 percent from the previous month. The Social Democrats was in second, remaining at 26 percent.

Coalition partner IRL dropped a point to 14 percent.

Of notable non-parliamentary parties, the Greens held 2 percent and the Independence Party 1 percent. The Conservative People's Party, recently in the media spotlight for a leadership member's racist comments, remained at 3 percent.

The Emor poll only counts respondents who have a preference, with 44 percent of the 920 respondents having no preference in June.


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