Ratings: Opposition party support falls as Estonia 200's continues to rise

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A recent Riigikogu sitting. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Support for the non-parliamentary Estonia 200 party continues to rise, while falling for the two opposition parties, Reform and SDE, and remaining on balance stable for the three coalition parties, according to a recent poll.

Support for the larger opposition party, and the largest party overall in terms of seats, Reform, stood at 28.8 percent, around the same figure the party saw in the March 2019 Riigikogu elections where it won 34 seats, according to the research conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), a socially conservative think-tank.

This followed a decline from a peak of 38.5 percent in August 2019, to 33.5 percent in Sepetember this year, to the 28.8 percent today, just under the 28.9 percent support the party enjoyed in March 2019, Norstat says.

The largest coalition party, Center, was next with 21.6 percent of support. Center's support has been stable at around the 22 percent mark in recent weeks.

Continuing to ride its wave of popularity is the third-placed Estonia 200, which despite not having any Riigikogu or local municipality seats picked up 16.5 percent of support, keeping it ahead of two coalition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and Isamaa, as well as the other opposition party, the Social Democrats (SDE) and other non-parliamentary parties.

Estonia 200 was formed in the second half of 2018 and contested its first election in March 2019, only narrowly missing out on seats with 4.7 percent of the popular vote (5 percent or more is required to win seats under Estonia's modified d'Hondt system of proportional representation – ed.).

The top three are followed by EKRE on 14.3 percent, a party seeing a small decline in support in recent weeks, SDE on 7.5 percent – its lowest level since April this year – and Isamaa on 6.1 percent, somewhat of an increase on recent weeks, when the party had been hovering around the 5 percent mark again.

The top three are followed by EKRE on 14.3 percent, a party seeing a small decline in support in recent weeks, SDE on 7.5 percent – its lowest level since April this year – and Isamaa on 6.1 percent, somewhat of an increase on recent weeks, when the party had been hovering around the 5 percent mark again.

The three coalition parties together picked up 42 percent of support, while the opposition parties got 36.3 percent, the lowest total in Norstat's polls under their current format.

Estonia 200, mainly thanks to its socially liberal, tech-focused platform is likely to "steal", to use the vocabulary of political parties in Estonia, votes from the Reform Party the most, and to a lesser extent from SDE.

The results are an aggregate over the period November 24 to December 21 and polled around 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age. Norstat varies its claimed margin of error based on the size of the party – results for Reform, the largest party in support, see a +/-1.4 percent margin of error by Norstat's reckoning, compared with +/1 0.74 percent for Isamaa.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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