Surveys conducted by the three major market research companies are rarely similar regarding the results of the forthcoming local government elections - all three are stating that the Center Party will get 39 percent of the votes. If it's enough for getting the absolute majority in the council of 79 members, this is where the opinions differ.
ERR's news portal compared three surveys conducted in Tallinn - Turu-uuringute, Kantar Emor and Norstat Estonia and calculated aggregate average support.
In interpreting the results, the fact that the surveys were conducted at different times and the different intensities of the parties' campaigns need to be considered. The Market Research Ltd. conducted the survey during September 6-15, Emor September 15-29 and Norstat from September 4 until October 3. Survey samples of market research included 400 for Turu-uuringute, 629 with Kantar Emor and 1,000 with Norstat, all people citizens, of voting age.
Another important nuance is that the surveys were conducted with different methods. Turu-urringute based its survey on parties alone, i.e. without naming any candidates.
Norstat gave full lists. The respondent had to mark a city district in Kantar Emor's survey. Despite the different methods, all survey companies agreed on the result. Market Research predicts a 39 percent support for the Center Party, Kantar Emor 39.2 and Norstat 39.6, in Tallinn.
The aggregate average support for the Center Party was, thus, 39.3 percent. At the last local government elections, the percent was 44.4 percent, which ensured the majority, i.e. 40 mandates in the council out of 79.
At the last local government elections, the surveys were most wrong about the Reform Party support assessing their possibilities lower than the results actually were. This time, the predictions fluctuate between 15-20 percent predicting the aggregate average support to be 11.8 percent.
Surveys also agree that EKRE will receive a better result than in 2017 when the party received 7 percent support and mandates in the council. The aggregate average support for EKRE is 13 percent in Tallinn this year.
Eesti 200 didn't participate in the last local elections, since the party hadn't been founded at that time. Their aggregate average this year is 11 in Tallinn.
The average result for the Social Democratic Party in Tallinn is 8.6 percent.
Isamaa was the last one at previous elections. Norstat is predicting the same result - 6.6 percent. Their average support rating stands at 5 percent.
The Estonian Greens are supported by 2 percent according to the surveys.
Will the Center Party get sole power?
The key question of the local government elections is whether the Center Party will have sole power. The Center Party has been leading Tallinn for 20 years already. If the Center Party receives the 39 percent support as the surveys show, the opinions of experts differ whether it's enough to maintain the sole power.
Political scientist Tõnis Saarts has said that if Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party should fall below the election threshold, distributing these votes will increase the number of votes given to the Center Party as the winner of the elections so that they will have absolute majority.
However, the former chairman of the election committee Alo Heinsalu has told ERR that the Center Party, with its current rating will not receive an absolute majority even if the Isamaa and SDE remain behind the council's door.
Political scientist Tõnis Mölder says he has also found that in the previous elections a lot of votes were lost on the electoral rolls that did not exceed the election threshold, but this time the share of such votes will be smaller.
Editor: Roberta Vaino