No significant changes happened with support levels for Estonia's major, and minor, political parties, according to a recent poll. Reform continues to be most popular, with Center in second place. Some of the smaller parties are looking ahead to 2021 and the local elections.
The Reform Party received 30.3 per cent of support in the research, conducted by pollsters Norstat, on behalf of NGO the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), the Center Party by 25.9 per cent and the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) by 16 per cent of eligible citizens.
No major changes were reported for any of the political parties on the previous week, all of them 0.5 percent change, or less.
As ever, the top three are followed by the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on 8.3 percent of support, Estonia 200 on 8.0 percent and Isamaa on 5.5 percent.
SDE is in opposition, Estonia 200 has no Riigikogu seats and Isamaa is in the coalition. The latter's support is only just above the 5 percent threshold to win seats at an election (i.e. a party which polls less than 5 percent at an election gets no seats at all under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation – something which happened to Estonia 200 at the March 2019 general election when the party polled just below that figure).
The three coalition parties, Center, EKRE and Isamaa, together polled 47.4 percent in Norstat's survey, with the two opposition parties, Reform and SDE, jointly getting 38.6 percent of support (the remainder would be made up of don't knows, Estonia 200 supporters and those who pledge for the smaller, non-parliamentary parties like Richness of Life and the Estonian Greens).
Analyst: Free-Richness merger should take place before local elections, Greens still strong among youth
Analyst Martin Mölder says the Estonian Green party, whose support stands at 2.4 percent by their reckoning, have a larger support with women voters. However, support for the other two, small non-parliamentary parties (aside from Estonia 200) – Richness of Life and the Free Party, do not see differences by gender. On the other hand, Richness of Life tend to be stronger among ethnic Estonian respondents, he said; there was no difference along these lines with Free or the Greens.
This is more significant given the Free Party – which had six seats in the last Riigkogu composition – and Richness of Life will merge in time for the 2021 local elections. Both parties only have a little over 500 members – again a threshold, this time for a party to be legally registered as such.
Mölder added that he expected the Greens, who have also discussed merging with the Free Party to run in 2021 despite recent woes.
Mölder added that much of the Greens' support came from younger voters, consistently running at over 10 percent with the 18-24 age group, and above the electoral threshold of 5 percent even in the 25-34 sector.
The Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and Norstat Eesti AS have focused on the aggregate result of the last four weeks, taking a sample of at least 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age. Norstat claims a statistical error margin of +/- 1.55 percent.
Editor: Andrew Whyte