Party ratings: EKRE support slightly down on previous week

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Logos of the six largest political parties in Estonia. Source: ERR

Reform remains the most highly supported political party, followed by the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and then the Center Party, according to a recent survey. EKRE's support fell slightly on the preceding week.

Fifty percent of respondents pledged their support to the two coalition parties, Reform and Center, combined, with 33.5 percent picking the three opposition parties, EKRE, the Social Democrats (SDE) and Isamaa, in ratings compiled by pollsters Norstat on behalf of the Institute for Social Research (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut) which were largely unchanged from the previous week.

One change on the previous week which was reported was a fall in EKRE support of 1.1 percentage points, Norstat says, to 20.4 percent. EKRE has 19 seats at the 101-seat Riigikogu making the current ratings almost match the number of seats.

Reform returned the highest support rating at 31.2 percent – the party has 34 seats, while their coalition partner, Center, picked up 18.8 percent support. Center has 25 Riigikogu seats.

Analyst Martin Mölder said that enough time has elapsed since the Reform/Center alliance took office (in late January – ed.) to be able to state with some certainty what effect this alignment has had on the political party landscape.

For Reform, this meant a slow-down in previously rising support, and even a slight down-turn, while for Center this meant switching places with EKRE, at least for the time being.

Mölder said: "The balance of power between the Center Party and EKRE changed very clearly. Whereas earlier, the Center Party had a clearly stronger position, now it is in closer competition with EKRE for second and third place than ever before. In addition, we can see that their rating has now stabilized at three percentage points lower than it was at the end of last year."

The top three are followed by non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 (13.4 percent), SDE (7.9 percent) and Isamaa 5.2 percent., figures which are all relatively unchanged, though SDE has slowly been picking up since a March low of 6 percent support.

Isamaa is still hovering around the 5 percent threshold required to win seats at any election, under Estonia's modified d'Hondt system of proportional representation.

The next elections are to the local municipalities, on October 17.

Martin Mölder also noted EKRE's slight drop in support, adding that whether the party's recent overall rise into second place is for the long-term or not will become clearer in the coming weeks.

SDE's pulling ahead of Isamaa is largely down to improvements among younger voters and those without children – both key demographics for SDE, Mölder said.

Norstat has aggregated its results over the past four weeks, meaning the sample size of respondents is at least 4,000 people, the company says, while margins of error vary depending on the size of a party's support (i.e. for Reform, say, the margin of error will be higher than for Isamaa etc.).

Respondents are Estonian citizens aged 18 and over, with surveys carried out both online and over the phone. Norstat says it weights its sample data based on key socio-demographic indicators.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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