A market research public opinion survey ordered by daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reveals that among citizens of voting age, the Reform Party's chairwoman Kaja Kallas is now the preferred government leader, in addition to being the actual prime minister since last month. The gap is not especially wide, however, and the coming weeks may clarify matters, compilers of the research say.
Compared with January's survey on the same topic, conducted by pollsters Turu-uuringute, Kallas has picked up an extra 5 percentage points insupport - 26 percent of voters have seen there desire to see her heading up the government come true.
At the same time, Jüri Ratas (Center), who stepped down as prime minister due a the corruption scandal surrounding a Tallinn real estate development which engulfed the Center Party last month, saw a corresponding fall in support, with 5 percent fewer voters picking him as their preferred leader: Twenty-three percent of the nationwide sample.
Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) chair Martin Helme is preferred among 11 percent of the survey's respondents; his support has especially increased among men voters (to 17 percent). Helme was finance minister in the last administration, but is now in opposition.
Following the top three, Kristina Kallas (8 percent) of non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 is next, while chair of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) Indrek Saar and Isamaa chair Helir-Valdor Seeder follow (3 percent each).
Turu-uuringute AS manager Karin Reivart said that the next couple of months will show how the main competitors will settle down in the situation. "Considering the statistical margin of error, the support for Ratas and Kallas is at approximately the same level, and the next months will show us whether Kallas' headstart will increase or not," Reivart said.
Ratas' support was last as low as it is now at the beginning of 2018. where it stood between 21-24 percent.
Editor: Roberta Vaino