Despite a recent rise in popularity in Ida-Viru County, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) lacks candidates for the upcoming elections.
A recent survey by pollster Turu-uuringute AS put the party's support at 41 percent in Estonia's most eastern region, higher than the Center Party which has been in power in Ida-Viru County for decades.
The region has a high number of Russian speakers who usually vote for Center, but EKRE has been trying to gain support among them since the start of 2021 due to their more conservative views.
The main reason stopping EKRE from further increasing support is a shortage of candidates, ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Monday.
Arvo Aller, chairman of EKRE's Ida-Viru region faction, said despite a large number of supporters, it has been difficult to find people to run in the October elections.
"We don't have as brighter stars as some parties. Our supporter is a regular worker who takes care of their children, their family," Aller said.
Erik Gamzejev, editor-in-chief of the region's Põhjarannik newspaper, agreed many of the candidates who are running are not well known.
"This does not mean that they [EKRE] will not succeed here at all, but this success is certainly significantly less than current research shows," he said.
The Center Party believes EKRE's support is exaggerated.
"Ratings are one thing, reality is another," said Marek Kullamägi, chairman of the Ida-Viru County faction of the Center Party.
He said the party has the highest number of candidates running in the region which shows Center is still popular.
Editor: Helen Wright