Party ratings: Reform remains on top of largely unchanged numbers ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Reform and Center promotional balloons.
Reform and Center promotional balloons. Source: ERR

The opposition Reform Party is supported by 31 percent and the coalition Center Party by 25 percent of voters, it appears from the results of a survey commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and conducted by pollster Norstat.

The latest survey results indicate that Reform has the support of 31.3 percent, Center of 25 percent and the coalition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) 16.6 percent of voting-age citizens.

These top three are followed by the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 8.1 percent, the non-parliamentary Estonia 200 with 7.5 percent and the coalition Isamaa with 5.5 percent support.

The ruling coalition — consisting of Center, EKRE and Isamaa — has the combined support of 47.1 percent of voters and the opposition — which consists of Reform and the SDE — 39.4 percent of voters.

Researcher Martin Mölder said that party ratings have remained stable for several weeks already — there have been no significant fluctuations or trends. Everything has been virtually unchanged over the last month.

"The only trend that is not directly reflected in the ratings is the share of voters with no preference in the last three weeks," Mölder said. "In the long run, their share can be expected to continue to grow, as the rate of voters with no preference has remained unrealistically low since the elections — below 30 percent or around that rate. We can be pretty sure that we will not see a 70 percent turnout in the next Riigikogu elections."

According to the researcher, the current stability of party ratings also clearly indicates how wrong it is to link specific cases or their presentation in the media to rating fluctuations.

"When a party is shown in a bad light and its support has accidentally fallen, it is always interpreted as a causal link," he explained. "Against this background, however, it would also be fair to point out that, for example, the press storm in recent weeks over the Center Party's suspicious €50,000 donation or the scandal surrounding the Political Parties Financing Surveillance Committee (ERJK) have not shifted their support one cent to date."

Thursday marks the last working day of the Riigikogu's spring session, and the fall session will not begin until mid-September, Mölder noted.

"Politics will definitely not end over the summer, but it will go on summer vacation nevertheless," he said. "In the weeks and months to come, the thoughts of voters and politicians will largely be elsewhere, and this will probably be reflected in future ratings. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on what is happening over the summer, but it is also worth taking it with more skepticism than usual."

Last summer, for example, support for the Reform Party rose to a post-election record level of 38.5 percent, while support for Center fell to a record low of 17.8 percent. Once the Riigikogu resumed work in September, however, there was nothing left of such a large difference in ratings, Mölder recalled.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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