Recent research by pollsters Turu-uuringute puts the two larger coalition parties, Center and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) on an almost equal footing in support, ERR's online news in Estonian reports. The non-parliamentary Estonia 200 party has overtaken the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) as well.
The report first surveys responses with "don't know" answers extracted, to give a clearer picture of how election results might pan out were an election to be held right now.
The opposition Reform Party was largest on 26 percent of the vote, according to Turu-uuringute in research commissioned by ERR.
The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), in office, saw a rise in support to 24 percent, taking it to second place and up from 16 percent the previous month and the highest rise for the party since the general elections in March 2019, Turu-uuringute says.
Coalition party Center was third on 22 percent, down from 24 percent a month earlier.
Also making gains since last year's elections, Estonia 200, currently not represented at the Riigikogu, overtook the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and is on 12 percent of support, compared with SDE, which is in opposition, on 9 percent. The previous month, SDE had been on 10 percent, Estonia 200 on 9 percent, Turu-uuringute says.
Isamaa, the third party in the coalition, stood at 6 percent in the latest ratings, which puts it one percentage point above the threshold needed for Riigikogu seats.
The remaining political parties' support is still below the 5 percent threshold. The Green Party got 3 percent support in the latest Turu-uuringute research, with Richness of Life and the Free Party on 1 percent each.
Two percent of respondents said they would vote for an independent candidate.
Support for coalition at 48 percent, opposition at 35 percent
The poll gave 48 percent of support for the three coalition parties, Center, EKRE and Isamaa, combined, while the two opposition parties, Reform and SDE, stood at 35 percent. However, if Estonia 200 were represented at the Riigikogu and factored in, this would put coalition and opposition almost on an equal footing at 48 and 47 percent respectively.
Factoring in the "don't knows"
Note the figures above take out the "don't know" respondents, who stood at 25 percent in the latest poll, to give a more comparable picture for what might happen if a Riigikogu election took place today.
If the "don't knows" were included, Reform would be on 20 percent, Center on 16 percent, EKRE on 15 percent, Estonia 200 on 9 percent, SDE on 7 percent and Isamaa on 4 percent.
Thus with those without a preference are included, Estonia 200 is still ahead of SDE slightly, but Isamaa dips below the threshold required for Riigikogu seats. Only EKRE and Estonia 200 saw an increase on the previous month via this method.
Turu-uuringute AS interviewed 1,056 people from all over Estonia, March 6-16, commissioned by public broadcaster ERR.
The coronavirus pandemic meant that face-to-face surveys were abandoned mid-survey with 306 questionnaires collected (from a possible 500, approximately), which meant the online component was larger than usual at 750.
The margin of error is a maximum of ± 3.10 per cent, Turu-uuringute says, with lower figures for the lower percentages of respondents.
Editor: Andrew Whyte