Ratings: Support for Reform Party stays on downward trend

Center and Reform factions sitting together in the Riigikogu.
Center and Reform factions sitting together in the Riigikogu. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The approval rating of the Reform Party, the senior partner in Estonia's two-party governing coalition, has hit its lowest level since February 2019, the latest poll taken by Norstat for the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues shows.

Reform Party is supported by 27.1 percent, the opposition Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) by 23.4 percent and the junior partner in the government coalition Center Party by 19 percent of voting-age citizens.

The rating of the Reform Party dropped by 1.6 percentage points week over week, and in the last four weeks the rating of the prime minister's party has fallen by 3.6 percentage points to its lowest level since February 2019.

Support for EKRE increased by 1.5 percentage points during the week and support for the Center Party by 1 percentage point.

The Reform Party's lead over EKRE has shrunk to 3.7 percentage points, the smallest gap since the beginning of 2019, when Norstat Eesti AS started polling party preferences.

The top three are followed by the non-parliamentary Estonia 200 with 12.2 percent, opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 8.2 percent and opposition Isamaa with 7.1 percent. The Greens had 2.3 percent support. 

Support for Estonia 200 declined by 1 percentage point in a week and support for Isamaa rose above 7 percent for the first time since November 2019.

The two parties of the government coalition - Reform and Center Party - are supported by 46.1 percent of voters and those of the opposition by 38.7 percent. The combined support of the coalition parties has never been so low for the current government coalition.

Researcher Martin Mölder said that what could be assumed from last week's results - a decline in support for the Reform Party and an increase in support for EKRE - could also be observed this week.

"In the past four weeks, support for EKRE has now been relatively stable in the weekly results, fluctuating by a few percentage points around the current four-week aggregated average. This suggests that their support rather is stable at the moment," Mölder said. 

He said that when it comes to the rating of Reform, we can see a situation where support was higher in the first two weeks of the four-week period and significantly lower in the last two weeks.

"Therefore, we saw a reduction in their support this week as well, and the party's overall position at the moment is one where a short-term drop in support seems a bit more likely than a quick or decisive recovery," Mölder added. 

"At the beginning of the election season - because it won't take long after the local elections until we have start thinking about the upcoming Riigikogu elections - it is worth remembering the positions of political parties compared to the previous Riigikogu elections. In this context, there are at present only two winners in our party system - EKRE and Estonia 200. The position of all other important parties has deteriorated by now compared to the previous elections," Mölder said.

The latest aggregate results reflect the survey period from August 17 to September 13, and a total of 4,001 citizens of Estonia of voting age were interviewed.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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