Party ratings: Reform continue on up, EKRE confirmed second-most popular

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Riigikogu January 13 sitting. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Reform has exceeded the 35-percent mark in support, according to a recent poll, while the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has surpassed its former coalition partner Center.

The two coalition parties, Reform and Center, picked up 53.2 percent of support, according to the survey conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of NGO the Institute for Social Research (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), while the three opposition parties, EKRE, Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party (SDE) found 31.5 percent support. Of parties not currently represented at the Riigikogu, Eesti 200 saw 12 percent support in Norstat's survey.

Reform, whose leader is Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and who entered office in late January, have seen an upward trend in support since then, and passed the 35-percent mark this past week for the first time since December 2019.

EKRE polled at 19.8 percent and Center at 17.7, continuing a downward trend with a fall of 1.3 percentage points to its lowest level since before the March 2019 general election.

EKRE's support is the highest it has been since early 2019.

The big three are followed by Eesti 200 (12 percent), whose support continues to wane after a long rise at the end of last year, then SDE (6.4 percent) and Isamaa 5.3 percent.

Analyst Martin Mölder says that this week showed a continuation of trends from the previous week, and EKRE is clearly the second-most popular party.

Support for Kallas as the first woman premier in Estonian history wa a factor in the rise for her party's popularity, Mölder said, particularly among women voters, while conversely the gender split works the other way round in EKRE's favor.

As noted before, EKRE are also seen as more palatable to many Russian-speaking voters, traditionally a bedrock of Center support, than they had been earlier on, when they were seen as an avowedly nationalistic party.

Norstat claims an error margin of +/-1.55 percent in its ratings, which combine figures from the preceding four weeks. The company used a combination of phone and online polling in its processes. The Institute for Social Research is a conservative think-tank established in 2016.

Norstat is one of three main polling companies, along with Kantar Emor and Turu-uuringute.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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