Party ratings: Reform support falls behind Center ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Support ratings for the three main parties in Estonia have started to pull even.
Support ratings for the three main parties in Estonia have started to pull even. Source: ERR. Design: JJ Oidermaa

One recent party ratings survey reported an unexpected change, with the opposition Reform Party, in a comfortable lead in most ratings surveys ever since the last elections in 2019, falling behind the coalition Center Party.

The poll, carried out by market research firm Turu-uuringute AS claims that Center was supported by 26 percent of respondents in August, one percentage point less than in June, when Turu-uuringute AS last conducted their monthly survey.

Reform's support in August stood at 23 percent. While there was no survey in July, as the company took a break, the opposition party was supported by a 33 percent of respondents in the previous month.

Other surveys, including Norstat's weekly poll, retain Reform in first place, ahead of Center.

Tõnis Stamberg, sociologist at Turu-uuringute AS, explained the drop in support by saying that Reform's support in June had been highest over the last few years, but has been lower traditionally, meaning the drop was not as steep in the larger picture. He also pointed out Reform's relative absence from the media and the public's general low interest in politics in the summer months as other factors.

Stamberg said: "Looking at it personally, I can say that noone aside from Jürgen Ligi is in the picture for Reform."

Jürgen Ligi, head of the Riigikogu state budget control select committee and a former finance minister, has led the investigations of Minister of Finance Martin Helme's (EKRE) hiring of U.S. law firm Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan.

Three parties bunched up

The largest change can be seen in the support for EKRE, increasing from its average of 15-16 percent over the last months to 20 percent in August, according to Turu-uuringute.

This means the three main parties in Estonia are quite close to each other in terms of support, with Center on 26 percent support, Reform on 23 percent and EKRE on 20 percent.

Social Democrats stand fourth with 10 percent support and non-parliamentary Eesti 200 at 9 percent support.

Coalition Isamaa, in sixth place, saw 5 percent support for August, putting them right on the required 5 percent threhshold required for Riigikogu seats at a general election, having been below that limit for the last few months according to Turu-uuringute.

The three coalition parties (Center, EKRE, Isamaa) were supported by a total of 50 percent in the Turu-uuringute poll, and the two opposition parties (Reform, SDE) picked up 33 percent support.

Non-parliamentary parties amassed a total of 13 percent.

The non-parliamentary Estonian Greens stand at 2 percent support and the Biodiversity Party was supported by 1 percent of respondents. Richness of Life and the Free Party were still measured separately, but they have signed a merger, combining the two into the Estonian Party for the Future.

Turu-uuringute AS conducted the party support survey on August 12-24. 1,003 people responded to the survey, of which 493 communicated face-to-face and 510 online.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Andrew Whyte

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