Commenting on the latest political party ratings, Turu-uuringute AS sociologist Tõnis Stamberg said that the most important change in numbers was the increase in support for the Center Party to its highest level since the Riigikogu elections last March.
According to the latest party ratings, support for the coalition Center Party had increased to 27 percent, which according to Stamberg comes in response to reforms carried out at the beginning of the year. During the emergency situation, however, the government has seen increased media attention, which also saw an increase in support.
"If we go back in time, then at the beginning of the year we saw several major reforms on the table — pharmacy reform was on the table, pension reform was on the table," Stamberg recalled. "If we look at support for the Center Party, then clearly these same struggles at the beginning of the year may have decreased support somewhat. But since March 12, decisions continued to have to be made, and the government was constantly in the media spotligh."
On the other hand, while support for the coalition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) polled at 20 percent in March, by May it had fallen to 15 percent. According to Stamberg, statements and positions first and foremost regarding people in the countryside hiring additional labor had an impact on their rating.
"I'm tending to see that EKRE has lost the votes of those same rural residents, while at the same time Center has won the votes of those who find the prime minister's messages in the media to be very believable," he said. "Traditionally, the Center Party has very strong support among older people. I believe that this has now been strengthened even further."
At the same time, he continued, EKRE's 5 percentage point drop in support cannot be interpreted to mean that all of those people now support the Center Party.
"We also see that the [opposition] Reform Party's 27 percent from last month has reached 30 percent," Stamberg noted. "Naturally these movements aren't drastic, they aren't big, but they do still indicate some kind of direction."
Editor: Aili Vahtla