Ratings: Rise in popularity of Indrek Saar may be result of TV role
Support levels for incumbent prime minister Jüri Ratas (Center) and Reform Party leader Kaja Kallas (Reform), remain about the same as last month, according to a recent survey which asked respondents who their first pick for prime minister would be. However, support for Social Democratic Party (SDE) leader Indrek Saar, an actor by trade, has risen, possibly thanks to a recent TV starring role.
Ratas' support fell by three percentage points between August and September to 33 percent, according to the research by pollsters Turu-uuringute, whereas Kaja Kallas' increased by roughly the same amount, to 23 percent.
However, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) pontificates (link in Estonian) on whether a near-doubling of support for SDE leader Indrek Saar, from 3 to 7 percent, is a side-effect of his appearance in a detective series airing on commercial channel TV3.
The show, "Kättemaksukontor", saw Saar appearing in a two-part episode set in Lääne-Virumaa, in which he helped solve a crime.
"Kättemaksukontor" is, according to EPL, watched by 60-70,000 regular viewers.
Meanwhile, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) chair Martin Helme also saw little change, rising from 8 to 9 percent of respondents who would pick him first as prime minister.
Karin Reivart, research manager at Turu-uuringute, said however that caution should be exercised when looking for a significant leap in support for Saar, who became SDE leader in June 2019, whatever the cause.
"The change is not yet significant as such, given the parameters of the research," she told EPL.
Saar's most famous TV role was in long-running ETV soap opera Õnne 13, where he played Raim Raidver over 20 years to 2015. He was first elected to the Riigikogu in 2007.
SDE and Reform are in opposition, Center, EKRE and Isamaa are in office. The major non-parliamentary parties are Estonia 200 and the Greens.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte