Ratings: EKRE support highest since start of 2019

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EKRE leadership Mart and Martin Helme. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Support for the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is at a more than three-year high, at least according to one recent poll.

The research, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of the Institute for Social Research  (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), found 51.3 percent of respondents supported one or other of the two coalition parties – Reform and Center – with 32.6 percent pledging for the three opposition parties combined: EKRE, Isamaa and the Social Democrats (SDE), Norstat says.

By party, 31.4 percent support Reform, 20.3 percent EKRE, which seems to have consistently taken over from Center, albeit by a slim margin, with 19.9 percent plumping for the latter.

The "big three" are followed by Eesti 200 (13.1 percent), a non-parliamentary party contesting its third ever election in October, then opposition parties SDE (7.3 percent) and Isamaa – whose 5 percent rating is bang on the threshold needed to gain seats under Estonia's modified d'Hondt system of proportional representation.

Norstat says Reform has been on the downward slope in terms of support for two months straight, though this seems to have flat-lined now, while EKRE has topped the 20-percent mark for the first time since the beginning of 2019. Between then and now, the party has been in office (April 2019-January 2021).

Another recent survey by Norstat rivals Turu-uuringute put EKRE on 21 percent, while Kantar Emor had them at 19 percent.

Commenting on the results, University of Tartu researcher Martin Mölder identified three trends which have emerged lately: The first is the end of Reform's fall in support; second, EKRE topping the 20-percent mark, and third, SDE's slow but steady improvement, from 6 percent in late March to this week's figure of 7.35 percent.

In addition, the trend for a rise in uncommitted voters is continuing, or rather normalizing, he said.

Mölder said: "Against the background of all these changes, the share of non-partisan voters has steadily increased since the formation of Kaja Kallas' government, which is now close to 34 percent [support]. This demonstrates that a number of 'non-voters' who, in the post-election period, claimed to support one party or another, have returned to their usual position."

The next elections are to the local municipalities, in October.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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