Ratings: Coronavirus restrictions lead to drop in support for Reform

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Kaja Kallas Source: Stenbock House.

While support for the Reform Party has fallen during the current coronavirus restrictions, the party is still the most popular, a recent survey commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and carried out by pollster Norstat shows.

Reform is supported by 32.3 percent, Center by 19.7 percent and Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) by 18.9 percent of voting-age citizens. During its six-week drop, the Reform Party has shed 3.2 percentage points. Support for Center and EKRE remained unchanged compared with last week's survey results.

The top three are followed by the non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 with 13.4 percent, the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 6.7 percent and the opposition Isamaa with 5.5 percent. Support for Eesti 200 rose by 1 percentage point compared with last week and has moved up by 2 percentage points over the past two weeks.

The two parties of the government coalition - Reform and Center Party - are supported by altogether 52 percent of voters and those of the opposition by 31.1 percent.

Researcher Martin Mölder said three major trends have been observed lately. Firstly, support for the Reform Party has been in continuous decline since the start of March and the boost in support garnered from the party forming the government is ebbing away.

"Secondly, we've seen Eesti 200 improve its approval rating once more over the past couple of weeks. Support for the party declined rapidly and notably from the start of the year until mid-March; however, right now we can see that they've improved their position," Mölder said.

Thirdly, the number of voters without a party preference has been growing slowly but steadily since the leader of the Reform Party Kaja Kallas formed the government, which means that the political situation is cooling down.

"There is less tension mobilizing people. Considering that in absolute numbers, support for the Center Party, EKRE, Isamaa and SDE has remained very stable meanwhile and the only party to see decline in absolute numbers is the Reform Party and the only one to see growth in support is Estonia 200, there is reason to assume that many people who previously supported the Reform Party have become either voters without party preference or supporters of Eesti 200," the researcher said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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