Aggregated ratings: Reform remains top in public support ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Estonian party logos.
Estonian party logos.

The aggregated results of party rating surveys conducted by three separate polling companies (Norstat, Kantar Emor and Turu-uuringute) for September show that the Reform Party still sits firmly atop of the public support table.

According to the survey results of polling companies Norstat Eesti, Turu-uuringute AS and Kantar Emor for September, Reform's support level stood at 31 percent, an increase of three percentage points from August, when survey results from Turu-uuringute AS unexpectedly reported that the coalition Center Party had gained more support than the opposition Reform.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' Center Party comes in second place, with an arithmetic mean of 22 percent, the same figure as in August. The results of Norstat and Turu-uuringute AS show the coalition leader with 24 percent of public support, put the average is brought down by Emor's result of 18 percent.

The aggregated respondent support for the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in September was 15 percent, down three percentage points from August. EKRE's support fell in all three companies' survey;, the largest drop of these three was that of a fall to 13 percent in Emor's results. As Emor conducts its research online, however, the results may lean toward the more liberal parties (Reform, SDE, Estonia 200), it is argued, thus leaving the coalition parties behind. Both Norstat and Turu-uuringute AS have EKRE at 16 percent.

The fourth and fifth place are filled by the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE - 11 percent) and the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 (10 percent), which did not see a change in their aggregate ratings from last month. While Norstat and Turu-uuringute AS show Eesti 200 as picking up 8-9 percent of support, Emor's result is higher at 13 percent.

The smallest of the three coalition parties, Isamaa, saw 5 percent support in September, with the results of all pollsters within the error margins. 5 percent is also the minimum electoral threshold to gain seats at an election, under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation, a result Isamaa certainly has to improve upon before local elections next year.

The support for the non-parliamentary Estonian Greens was 3 percent and the support for the Estonian Party for the Future (TULE), a result of a merger between the Estonian Free Party and the Biodiversity Party, saw 2 percent support for September.

The coalition parties (Center, EKRE, Isamaa) together received a total of 42 percent of support from the close to 3,000 respondents of three surveys, actually the same as the two opposition parties (Reform, SDE). In August, those numbers were 45 and 39, in favor of the coalition. The change results from an increase in Reform's support and a drop in EKRE's.

An interactive graph (in Estonian) is available below.

In August, at the proposal of the three polling companies involved (Norstat, Turu-uuringute AS, Kantar Emor), ERR's Estonian portal began to aggregate the party ratings survey results, reflecting differences which the three pollsters' results sometimes bring. Taking into account the margin of error, the individual results of these surveys can differ by around 3 percent.

There are also differences in research methods between the three. Norstat mostly conducts their surveys over the phone, Turu-uuringute AS does half of their survey using face-to-face interviews - a practice put on ice during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic - and the other half is conducted online, and Emor conducts its whole survey online. Some critics say that online results skew support against Center in that many of its voters are from the oldest demographics who, it is argued, are not as online-savvy as younger people.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Andrew Whyte

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