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Free Party passes IRL in monthly popularity poll

The Free Party, founded by disgruntled IRL member Andres Herkel, has passed IRL for the first time in a popularity poll.

According to TNS Emor, the Reform Party continues to enjoy the highest rating of all political parties with 28 percent saying they would vote for the party. The Center Party was second with a 24-percent-rating, followed by the Social Democrats with 16 percent.

The Free Party recorded its best-ever poll result with 12 percent, followed by IRL with 10 percent. The Conservative People's Party (EKRE), besides the Free Party, the only other newcomer to Parliament, had a 9-percent rating.

Aivar Voog, an expert with Emor, said the Free Party was still locked in coalition talks when the poll took place, and the effects of the party sliding into opposition will be felt in next month's ratings.

Many have tipped the Free Party to conquer the conservative marker share from IRL, although it will be IRL which will take part in the new government, agreeing to a coalition with the Reform Party and the Social Democrats.

The results represent a huge swing for most parties as the Reform Party only polled 23 percent a month ago, shortly before the elections, with the Center Party on 22 percent, Social Democrats 20 percent, IRL on 14 percent and both the Free Party and EKRE on 9 percent.

The Reform Party won the March 1 general election with 27.7 percent of the vote (30 seats), followed by the Center Party with 24.8 percent (27 seats), the Social Democrats 15.2 percent (15 seats), IRL with 13.7 percent (14) seats. The Free Party, contesting its first ever election, won 8.7 percent of the total vote and eight seats. EKRE won 8.1 percent and seven seats.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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