Party ratings: Reform most popular with women, men going for EKRE more

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EKRE MPs at the Riigikogu. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

There has been no change among the ratings of the major political parties in Estonia in the past week, according to a recent survey. A trend for the Reform Party to be most popular among women voters, with the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), which has seen its support rise most of all parties since the beginning of the year, being the first choice of men voters.

The largest party by both Riigikogu representation and by support has seen its support declining recently – by nearly 5 percentage points in the past couple of months, but its rating is still 2 percentage points higher than at the beginning of the year, with current support standing at 30.7 percent, to pollsters Norstat, who compile their weekly ratings for conservative think tank the Institute for Social Research  (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut).

The two coalition parties, Reform and Center, picked up 50.9 percent of support, according to Norstat.

Center polled at 20.2 percent over the past week, which is no significant change on the previous week and around the level it has seen since mid-March, though 1.6 percentage points lower than it was polling at the beginning of the year.

Center was a part of the tripartite coalition with EKRE and Isamaa which collapsed in January and, while the party remained in office, unlike its former partners, it has seen some of its prestige damaged as a result of the change.

The three opposition parties picked up 31.9 percent of support together, with EKRE polling at 19.4 percent, a figure it has remained at, or close to, since early March, but which is 5.1 percent more than it had seen at the start of 2021.

The top three are followed by the non-parliamentary Eesti 200, whose ratings recently have also been quite steady, after a peak towards the end of last year which saw the party overtake EKRE into third place. At the same time, the dip the party saw at the end of March has been recovered from somewhat, by 2.8 percentage points, Norstat says.

Eesti 200 picked up 13.9 percent, while the two other opposition parties, the Social Democrats (SDE) and Isamaa, saw 7.2 percent and 5.3 percent support each – less than one percentage point difference from their ratings at the start of the year.

Researcher Martin Mölder said that since no major changes have happened overall in the past week, looking at specific demographics might be more helpful.

By gender, Reform is most popular with women, while EKRE is most popular among men voters.

Mölder said: "Among men, the two most popular parties (i.e. EKRE and then Reform) are followed by a plot of empty land, and only at the 15 percent-mark do we see Eesti 200 and the Center Party competing for third and fourth place. At the same time, the party landscape is very different among female voters. In that case there is a piece of empty land again (after Reform and Center), and somewhere between 10 and 15 percent, but Eesti 200 and EKRE are fighting for the third and fourth places."

Reform's support split by gender has only emerged since the party entered office, Mölder said, adding that only Eesti 200 and Isamaa are supported in equal measure by men and women.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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