Three pollsters conduct party rating surveys in Estonia on a regular basis — Turu-uuringute AS, commissioned by ERR, Norstat, commissioned by the Institute for Societal Studies, and Kantar Emor, commissioned by daily Postimees and BNS. ERR's Estonian-language online news portal has compiled a review of 2019 party ratings as compared between the three pollsters' results.
The three companies' methodologies differ somewhat, with Emor polling people exclusively online, Turu-uuringud using a combined approach involving both in-person interviews and online polls, and Norstat surveying participants on the phone as well as online.
Support for the coalition Centre Party is typically higher in Turu-uuringud surveys and lower in Kantar Emor surveys. This was also reflected in average ratings for 2019, which according to Turu-uuringud stood at 24 percent, Norstat at 22 percent and Kantar Emor at just 18.5 percent.
In the case of all three pollsters' results, however, support for Centre has dropped by as much as 6-8 percentage points between January and December.
The opposition Reform Party started the year out as Estonia's second most popular party according to all three pollsters, but since the March 3 Riigikogu elections and through the end of 2019, it has maintained a firm lead in monthly party ratings.
Support for Reform is highest according to Kantar Emor and Norstat polls. The party averaged 33, 31.5 and 29 percent support according to Norstat, Kantar Emor and Turu-uuringud, respectively.
Support for the coalition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has remained stable throughout 2019, and across all three pollsters' results, only dipping somewhat according to Norstat figures late in the year.
The bigger of the two junior coalition parties had the support of around 17 percent of respondents on average across all three companies.
Social Democratic Party
On average, support for the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) was slightly higher according to Kantar Emor (12 percent) and lower according to Norstat (10 percent) and Turu-uuringud (9 percent).
According to Kantar Emor's results, support for the smaller opposition party saw a slight increase after it replaced chairman Jevgeni Ossinovski with Indrek Saar.
The coalition Isamaa, meanwhile, saw similar support across all three pollsters' results, with the annual average at 8 percent according to Turu-uuringud and Norstat and 7 percent with Kantar Emor.
A closer look at the dynamics over the year reveals that support for Isamaa began to rise ahead of the March 3 elections, remained steady for several months and then began to fall again in the second half of the year. In recent months, support for the smaller of the two junior coalition parties has hovered just above the 5 percent election threshold.
Newcomer Estonia 200, which fell just below the election threshold with 4.4 percent of the vote on March 3, has maintained a similar level of support throughout the year according to Turu-uuringud and Norstat.
Kantar Emor polls, however, place support for the non-parliamentary party much higher, averaging at nearly 8 percent — well above the 5 percent election threshold.
Support for the non-parliamentary Estonian Greens has fallen in the range of 2-4 percent in 2019, averaging at 2 percent for the year according to Turu-uuringud and 3 percent according to Kantar Emor and Norstat.
Support for the remaining non-parliamentary parties, including Richness of Life and the Free Party, has remained low enough — below 2 percent — that changes to these figures from month to month have been statistically insignificant.
Editor: Aili Vahtla