A recent survey by pollsters Turu-uuringute on behalf of ERR found that the Reform Party was the most supported in August, followed in second place by the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE). The Center Party, in office with Reform, has seen its support fall and now lies roughly at the same level as Eesti 200, the survey found.
Were Riigikogu elections to take place tomorrow, 24 percent of the electorate would vote for Reform, a figure unchanged from June.
EKRE would poll at 23 percent, up from 21 percent in June (Turu-uuringute did not compile the statistics in July).
In August, Center polled at 17 percent, its lowest level since February this year, Turu-uuringute said.
Eesti 200, which has no Riigikogu seats and is contesting its third election at next months municipal polls, saw its support rise from 13 percent to 16 percent, June to August, bringing it one percentage point behind Center.
The opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) picked up 9 percent support, largely unchanged from June, while Isamaa's fell over the period June to August, from 7 percent to 5 percent.
The Green Party saw a rise from 3 percent to 4 percent June to August, while TULE, a party formed via a merger between the old Free Party and Richness of Life, picked up 1 percent.
In total, in August, coalition parties picked up 41 per cent support, opposition parties 35 per cent.
The gap remains the same as in June, at 4 percentage points, though the overall support for both coalition parties combined and opposition parties combined, has declined (from 43 percent and 39 percent respectively).
Support for non-parliamentary parties totaled 21 percent in August, up from 17 percent in June.
Ethnic, regional differences in party support
Among respondents whose first language is Estonian, Reform remains most popular at 27 percent, with EKRE on 22 percent and Eesti 200 on 16 percent. Center lags significantly behind at 11 percent, two percentage points ahead of SDE on 9 percent. Isamaa picked up 6 percent, the Greens 4 percent.
Among voters of other nationalities, in practice referring mainly to those whose first language is Russian but also respondents of all other ethnicities, Center remains in first place, with 49 percent pledging their support for it.
Eesti 200 is in second place, but with a 33 percentage-point gap between it and Center, on 16 percent.
EKRE picked up 15 percent, Reform 8 percent and SDE 6 percent.
The Reform Party is the most popular party in northern Estonia (32 percent) and Tallinn (25 percent), though the Center Party (22 percent) and Eesti 200 (also 22 percent) are not far behind in Tallinn itself, Turu-uugintute said.
In South Estonia, the Reform Party and EKRE share the leading position (both are on 25 percent).
EKRE is the most popular party in western Estonia (28 percent) and central Estonia (26 percent).
Even in Ida-Viru County, where EKRE's support was still slightly lower than that of the Center Party in June (36 and 39 percent, respectively), that party has now achieved a visible lead, Turu-uuringute says.
EKRE picked up 31 percent of support in Ida-Viru County compared with 23 percent for the Center Party.
EKRE's popularity is the lowest in Tallinn (10 percent). The Reform Party picked up just 8 percent support in Ida-Virumaa; Eesti 200 picked up 11 per cent in South Estonia.
Support for the Center Party is slightly higher in urban areas than in rural ones, at 19 and 14 per cent for the Center Party, respectively.
Eesti 200, too, finds more support in urban areas (18 percent) than in rural areas (13 percent).
For EKRE, the situation is the reverse – they picked up 28 percent support in rural areas and 17 percent in urban areas, Turu-uuringute says.
Turu-uuringute AS interviewed 1,000 Estonian citizens aged 18 and over. Of these, 394 were surveyed by phone and 606 online. The survey was conducted on August 5-13. Turu-uuringute claims a margin of error of no more than ± 3.10 percent.
The next direct elections are to the local municipalities, on October 17.
Editor: Andrew Whyte