Reform remains the clear leader in terms of voter support and support for the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) has risen, a new poll from Norstat and the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut) shows.
A total of 43.4 percent of those polled supported the three coalition parties – the Center Party, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa – while 42.4 percent picked the two opposition parties, Reform and the Social Democratic Party (SDE).
Support for the three most popular parties according to Norstat's polls, Reform, Center and EKRE did not change significantly over the past week, though a recent downward trend for EKRE support has halted, the pollsters said.
Reform picked up 32.8 percent of support, Center got 23.2 percent and EKRE received 15.4 percent.
The top three were followed by SDE on 9.6 percent, the non-parliamentary Estonia 200 party (7.9 percent) and Isamaa were on 4.8 percent.
SDE support has generally increased in recent weeks, and rose by one percentage point over the past week and 1.4 percent over a fortnight, while Estonia 200's has fallen by 1.1 percent over two weeks.
Isamaa's support remains hovering around the 5 percent threshold mark required to get Riigikogu (and local and European Parliament) seats under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation.
Researcher Martin Mölder said that there are no major changes in the results of the parties. The difference between the Center Party and the Reform Party remains essentially unchanged, but as the position of the Center Party was perhaps somewhat stronger at the beginning of the month than it is now at the end of the month, support for the party is unlikely to increase next week.
"There appears to be a temporary balance between the support for the two largest competitors. Most notable in the latest aggregate results, however, is that after a decline of one and a half months, EKRE's support has stabilized. If we look at EKRE's results not as a four-week average, but by weeks, then EKRE has improved its position in the last two weeks. It is likely that the average support of these four weeks will improve next week or at least remain stable," Mölder said.
"Regarding EKRE's support, an interesting point of comparison with the results of other pollsters also emerges, which also showed a decrease in EKRE's support in September. However, the survey period of Turu-uuringute AS ranged from September 7 to 17 and that of Emor from September 17 to 23. So, they are showing us the decline that has actually been gone, and the most recent Norstat results, the latest data for which were only collected a few days ago earlier this week, confirm to us that this decline is already over," Mölder said.
"As for other parties, there are signs that the balance between the Social Democrats and Estonia 200 is fluctuating. While at the end of August and in the first half of September, Estonia 200 had a slight lead over SDE, their ratings have moved in the opposite direction for the last two weeks. Support for the Social Democrats has grown above all among younger, female and non-Estonian voters," Mölder added.
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.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Helen Wright