Ratings: Support for opposition parties rising, Center's support falling

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Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas.
Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Opposition parties are gradually increasing their support while the popularity of the Center Party is declining, the latest Norstat poll commissioned by the Institute for Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut ) shows.

The Reform Party is supported by 32.1 percent, the Center Party by 23.8 percent and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) by 15.8 percent of eligible voters. 

Although the political parties' level of support appears to be relatively stable this time the ratings show some longer-term trends. 

Support for the Reform Party has gradually increased since the end of May and support for the Center Party has decreased. 

Compared to May 22, when support for Reform Party was at its lowest level this year, now support for the largest opposition party is 2.3 percentage points higher. Compared to the same period, the support for the Center Party is 2.4 percentage points lower. 

The top three parties are followed by the Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 9.4 percent, non-parliamentary party Estonia 200 with 8.4 percent and Isamaa with 5.6 percent. 

In recent weeks, the SDE has also gradually seen its level of support increase and it now exceeds 9 percent for the first time since February.

The coalition parties are supported by a total of 45.2 percent and opposition parties - Reform and SDE - by 41.5 percent of respondents. Support for opposition parties has been increasing for seven consecutive weeks. 

The latest aggregate results reflect the survey period from June 16 to July 20, and a total of 4,002 Estonian citizens of voting age were interviewed.

Researcher Martin Mölder said that certain interesting developments can be seen in the latest ratings which are more evident now than in previous weeks.

"On the one hand the difference between the ratings of the Center Party and the Reform Party has continued to grow, being primarily a result of the Center Party losing some support in the summer months. We could see Reform establish a sound lead over the Center Party also last summer," Mölder said.

He observed that the Center Party's rating has weakened among the female electorate and in the oldest voter segment. The Reform Party meanwhile has not gained voters in absolute terms and their relative support has grown primarily as a result of the numbers of supporters of Center having become smaller.

SDE  meanwhile has improved its rating to 9.4 percent from 7.3 percent at the beginning of April.

"The Socialists have been strengthening their positions in recent months first and foremost among the younger voters aged up to 35, but a little bit also among the older voters, meaning the age group 65-74. Support for them also has grown among people with smaller incomes and those not having secondary education," Molder added. 

In presenting the results, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and Norstat Eesti AS have focused on the aggregate result of the last four weeks. This means that the sample is at least 4,000 people and the statistical error is +/- 1.55 percent.

The Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTU Uhiskonnauuringute Instituut) is a think tank established in January 2016.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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