Poll: Järvik scandal didn't weaken support for Ratas as prime minister ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) entering the presidential palace.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) entering the presidential palace. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) remains the most popular party chairperson of choice for head of government by a large margin — the results of a monthly survey commissioned by daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) and conducted by Turu-uuringute AS indicate that 37 percent of respondents prefer Ratas as prime minister, followed by 25 percent support for Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas.

"It's certainly noteworthy that the leader of the Centre Party has managed to maintain this lead, as the past month has been filled with plenty of scandals driven by coalition partner Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE)," the paper noted (link in Estonian).

"The survey also suggests that Kaja Kallas, the leader of the biggest opposition party, didn't manage to spin the government's missteps, which attracted plenty of attention, in her favor or make sure the prime minister was held responsible for them," it continued. "The fact that the opposition leader's rating remained unchanged during such significant turmoil, is fairly remarkable."

While events at the Ministry of Rural Affairs with its complicated nuances may have seemed confusing for many and security-related whims may have seemed too distant, the government has also spent all of this fall handling the current coalition's first state budget, the shortcomings of which have been actively criticized by the Reform Party.

By age group, it's evident that the Reform Party and Kallas' criticism of Ratas' €7 extraordinary pension hike haven't reached pensioners' ears — compared with support for Kallas, older respondents' support for Ratas as the head of government is even higher.

Turu-uuringute AS survey manager Juhan Kivirähk highlighted that while Centre and Reform voters clearly prefer their own party leaders as prime minister, the picture becomes more complex in the case of smaller parties: "Competing for support among EKRE leaders are two candidates: EKRE chairman Mart Helme and current prime minister Ratas."

Also interesting, the paper noted, is the fact that, according to the poll, supporters of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) would like to see their party included in a Ratas-led government.

"In the lead with 33 percent support among SDE voters was Ratas; support for Kaja Kallas and [SDE chairman] Indrek Saar was tied at 23 percent," Kivirähk highlighted.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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