Ratings: EKRE gains narrow lead over Reform

EKRE and Reform local election campaign posters outside the Center Party's headquarters in Tallinn in September 2021.
EKRE and Reform local election campaign posters outside the Center Party's headquarters in Tallinn in September 2021. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has become the most popular party after gaining a small lead over Reform, the results of the latest poll from Norstat and the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut) show.

The pollsters aggregated four weeks of polling (September 1-27) and the results put EKRE on 24.6 percent and Reform on 24.2 percent.

Support for EKRE has risen 2.7 percent over the last three weeks.

Reform's support fell 1.4 percent last week and has been on a downward trend since mid-August.

In total, the prime minister's party has lost 6.8 percent during this time. Its current level of support is the party's lowest since 2019 when Norstat started polling.

Additionally, for the first time since the start of 2019, the Reform Party is no longer the most popular party.

The junior coalition party Center follows on 19.7 percent and gained 1.3 percent over the last week.

Non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 is on 12.2 percent, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) on 8.9 percent and Isamaa had 7 percent. The Greens are on 2.1 percent.

The coalition parties - Reform and Center - have 43.9 percent support and the opposition parties - EKRE, Isamaa and SDE - 40.5 percent. This is the lowest level of support for the coalition so taking office in January.

Nortstat uses four weeks of aggregated data for each poll and EKRE has had the highest level of support for the last two weeks.

Researcher at the University of Tartu Martin Mölder said last week's polling results showed EKRE had temporarily overtaken Reform but this week it can be seen the party is more popular.

"Granted, EKRE's lead over Reform currently remains within the margin of error, but it may not remain so if the current trends continue. The trend over the past six months demonstrates rapid decline in support for the Reform Party and a consistent increase in that for EKRE. Short term fluctuations have not changed this overall picture. It is clear that this growth and decline cannot last forever and the coming few months will show at which level support for Reform and EKRE will come to a halt," Mölder said.

Reform's ratings rose when it was in opposition. This came from people who were not natural supporters but they did not agree with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' (Center) second government either, Mölder said.

"At the same time, it definitely shows that the prime minister's party is rapidly losing ground and that not just the electorate as a whole but also a lot of Reform's former supporters are not happy with the party's activities of lack thereof in the government," he added.

Mölder said in recent weeks most parties, except Reform, have seen their ratings rise.

Who supports EKRE?

EKRE chairman Martin Helme. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

EKRE is the most popular among men and has 33.6 percent support compared to 21.2 percent for the second most popular party, Reform.

For women, the most popular parties are Reform (27 percent) and Center (23.3 percent). EKRE is the third most popular party on 16.4 percent.

Among Estonians, support for Reform is 27.2 percent and EKRE 27 percent.

Among non-Estonians, the Center Party is by far the most popular on 58.5 percent. EKRE has 11.7 percent support but this has fallen from a high of 15.2 percent since the start of August. Eesti 200 and SDE are joint third with 8.5 percent support each.

Support for EKRE is rising among age groups 50-64, 65-74 and over 75. There has been a smaller increase among the 35-49 age group. It is falling in the 18-24 and 25-34 groups.

More data can be viewed on Norstat's website.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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