While the Center Party, according to some recent surveys, is the most-supported political party nationwide, in Tallinn alone the honor goes to Reform.
Reform overtook Center last month in the research, conducted by pollsters Turu-uuingute, though the gap in support between the two largest parties – Reform in opposition nationally, Center in office – has closed to quite a great extent since then.
Reform took 34 percent of support among respondents in the Turu-uuringute poll, taken from citizens of voting age, while Center are on 29 percent. However in September the respective ratings were 35 percent and 20 percent, meaning the gap between the two has more than halved during that time.
Comparing national and local ratings should also take into consideration that the electorate is considerably larger in municipal elections than in elections to the Riigikogu. In the latter case, only citizens can vote, whereas people of all nationalities holding Estonian residency can vote in the local polls, which includes a large segment of the Russian-speaking population.
Support outside Tallinn
Center remains most popular among respondents in its traditional heartland of Ida-Viru County, with 43 percent. In South Estonia the figure is 26 percent, though it is still the highest-supported single party there also (taken alone, Tartu City is a Reform stronghold – ed.).
In North Estonia outside Tallinn, the two main parties are virtually neck-and-neck at around 26 percent.
Coalition party the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) found the same figure in western Estonia, where it is the most-supported party. EKRE support is even higher in its other stronghold, central Estonia, at 31 percent.
The other two parliamentary parties, the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the coalition Isamaa party are not the highest-supported in any single region.
Turu-uuringute support breakdown
Most parties saw a roughly 50-50 split in support by gender, with the exception of EKRE, which is supported by 22 percent of men respondents to the Turu-uuringute research, compared with 14 percent of women, and SDE, where the roles are reversed at 12 percent of women and five percent of men.
Reform and the non-parliamentary Estonia 200 were most popular with younger age groups (below 50), Center and EKRE were better supported among voters above that age, through Reform remain quite popular with the most senior age bracket.
15-24: Reform – 30 percent, Estonia 200 – 21 percent.
25-34: Reform – 40 percent, Center – 16 percent.
35-49: Reform – 28 percent, Center – 26 percent.
50-64: Center – 29 percent, EKRE – 20 percent
65-74: Center – 32 percent, EKRE – 30 percent.
75 and over: Center – 42 percent, Reform – 18 percent, EKRE – 15 percent.
In summary, Reform's biggest support was among 25-34 year olds, Center with those aged over 75, EKRE in the 65-74 age group and Estonia 200 with the youngest segment, 15-24.
Among native Estonian speaker respondents, Reform remains most-supported with 28 percent of the poll, followed by Center at 21 percent, EKRE just behind on 19 percent, SDE on 10 percent, Estonia 200 on 8 percent and Isamaa with 6 percent.
Isamaa is traditionally seen as a national-conservative Estonia party; at any of Estonia's three direct elections (general, local and European), parties must poll a minimum of 5 percent of the vote to get seats, under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation.
Among other ethnicities, Center polled by far the largest proportion at 58 percent, Reform took 13 percent, EKRE 12 percent, Estonia 200 6 percent, SDE 2 percent and Isamaa 1 percent, according to Turu-uuringute.
Reform performed well among those with higher education, picking up 35 percent among this demographic. Those with a professional, vocational or secondary education tended to pick Center more (28 percent of respondents) with EKRE slightly ahead of Center (30 percent versus 29 percent) among those with basic education.
There were no changes to the norm in this bracket either, with Reform keeping top spot among highest earners (those getting more than €1,000 per month net) at 41 percent. Those taking in €400-1,000 picked Center first at 40 percent, though Center's support barely dipped below 30 percent with any income group. Perhaps counter-intuitively, SDE only picked up 2 percent of support among the lowest wage earners (up to €400 per month).
Editor: Andrew Whyte