Ratings: Center climbs back to second place in rankings

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EKRE chairman Martin Helme (left) and Center Party chairman Jüri Ratas at a government press conference in October.. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

While the prime minister's Reform Party has steadily continued its reign over party rating surveys conducted by pollster Norstat, the latest round of results has put Center slightly ahead of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE).

Recent research Norstat conducted on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for Social Research (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute instituut) shows that the recent trend of stability in party ratings has continued without drastic change.

Estonia's most popular party - Reform - continues atop the rankings with 34.2 percent support. As the struggle for second place between Center and EKRE continues, the former has climbed back to second place after a few weeks of EKRE being there in their place. Center's support, as of the most recent survey, stands at 19.9 percent with EKRE close behind at 19 percent.

While support for Reform has dropped by 1.3 percentage points since the start of March, their lead ahead of Center is still comfortable at 14.3 percentage points.

The top three are followed by non-parliamentary Eesti 200 at 11.4 percent support, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) at 6 percent, and Isamaa with 5.7 percent support.

The coalition parties are supported by 54.1 percent of respondents to Norstat's survey, opposition parties found 30.7 percent support combined.

Political scientist: There are changes in the profile of EKRE voters

Martin Mölder, a political scientist at the University of Tartu, said this week's ratings show the continuation of short-term stability.

"There are no major shifts, but we can notice smaller changes. A slight short-term downward trend for Reform Party, caused by a 'normalization' among their female voters, seems to continue. At the same time, Eesti 200's drop that started in the beginning of January, has stopped and it seems as if their support has stabilized around 11 percent. The growth in EKRE's support has also stopped and Center's rating has shown certain signs of recovery," Mölder analyzed.

Specific changes have however taken place among voter groups. EKRE's support has dropped significantly among male voters recently but has grown to record levels among women.

"We can see more age-based differentiation in the profile of EKRE voters. EKRE's support is much higher in medium age groups compared to earlier and lower among the elderly and the youngest voters. And as the drop for Eesti 200 has stopped, their support among 65+ people is still going downhill," Mölder noted.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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