Local elections 2021: Results

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Vote counting in progress in the 2021 local elections.
Vote counting in progress in the 2021 local elections. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Who won, who lost and who did better than expected at the local elections? ERR News rounds up the results, news and data.

Overview

Turnout for the local elections was 54.7 percent, which is higher than in 2017. In total, 584,902 people voted.

Key points

The Center Party and electoral alliances won the most votes in the 2021 local elections on Sunday night.

Center lost its absolute majority in Tallinn for the first time in more than 15 years. It will now need to form a coalition to take power in the capital. The party also lost seats in Ida-Viru County, historically a stronghold for the party. 

EKRE almost doubled its vote share from 6.7 percent in 2017 to 13.2 percent. The party also won in Pärnu. However, EKRE made no advances in Ida-Viru County despite efforts to sway Russian-speaking voters.

Eesti 200, competing in the local elections for the first time, gained 6 percent of the vote. The party did well in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva.

Center, Reform and the Social Democrats (SDE) all lost votes compared to the last election. SDE's more than halved from 10.4 percent to 5 percent.

Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) remained the most popular politician in Estonia and increased his personal mandate in Lasnamäe by more than 3,000 votes. He received 27,737 ballots in total.

Former SDE Riigikogu member Katri Raik won in Narva with an electoral list of her own. She pushed the Center Party from power winning 15 seats, one short of a majority.

The nationwide results are republished below.

  • Center: 24.4 percent (142,596 votes)
  • Electoral coalitions: 24.3 percent (141,861)
  • Reform: 17.3 percent (101,295)
  • EKRE: 13.2 percent (77,236)
  • Isamaa: 8.4 percent (48,848)
  • Eesti 200: 6.0 percent (35,317)
  • SDE: 5.0 percent (29,082)
  • Greens: 1.1 percent (6,307)
  • Independent candidates: 0.3 percent (1,762)
  • TULE: 0.0 percent (278)

Update: Postimees reported on November 9 that Reform has been the most successful party at creating coalitions. Read the article - in English - here.

E-voting and paper votes

In total, 263,566 people voted online during the 2021 local elections which was 47 percent of all votes cast. This is a new record at a local election. The e-vote turnout at the last local election in 2017 was 31.7 percent.

In total, the most e-votes were cast for Reform and the least for the Greens. But this changes when the proportion of e-votes cast is taken into consideration.

The total number of e-votes cast for each party is listed below:

  • Reform: 64,459
  • Center: 42,748
  • Isamaa: 25,804
  • EKRE: 24,232
  • Eesti 200: 23,514
  • SDE: 17,293
  • Greens:4,050

The number of paper and online votes cast for each party is shown below.

Looking at the share of e-votes for each party, Eesti 200 has the highest at 66.58 percent, followed by the Greens on 64.21 percent and then Reform on 63.63 percent.

Of the Social Democrats' voters, 59.46 percent voted online and 52.82 percent of Isamaa voters.

Center and EKRE had a much smaller share of e-votes. EKRE's was 31.37 percent but Center's was the smallest at 29.98 percent.

Most popular candidates

Center's Mihhail Kõlvart was the most popular candidate winning more than 27,000 votes. Kõlvart is the mayor of Tallinn and he ran in Lasnamäe, the capital's biggest district.

He was followed by Lauri Laats (Center), who ran in Tallinn's Mustamäe, and got a surprisingly high number of ballots at over 8,000.

The third most popular candidate was Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform), who picked up 6,479 votes.

Katri Raik, running on her own list in Narva, was the fourth most popular candidate followed by MEP Yana Toom (Center).

Former Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center), former Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE), former Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE), current finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) were all amongst the top 15.

Eesti 200's leader Kristina Kallas, running in her first local election in Tartu, was included in the top 10. Mayor of Pärnu Romek Kosenkranius rounded out the top 15.

Results by region

Below are brief summaries of the results which were announced on election night. More information has been added to Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu and Narva.

A full breakdown by region and city can be viewed on the valimised.ee website.

Haapsalu

In the western city of Haapsalu, sitting mayor Urmas Sukles received far and away the largest number of votes (1,104) and the electoral alliance he belongs to, Hari, won a 53 percent majority (3,167 votes) fiving it 15 seats on the city council.

The remaining 10 seats are divided up by Center (five seats, 1,207 votes, 20.2 percent of the vote), EKRE (three seats, 795 votes, 13.3 percent) and Reform (two seats, 564 votes, 9.4 percent).

While Hari has a majority, it will continue in coalition with Center, Sukles said.

Eesti 200 (168 votes) and the Greens (58 votes) failed to reach the 5 percent threshold to win seats.

Hiiu County

The Social Democrats won seven seats of the 23-member council.

Five seats were won by election alliance Ühine Hiiumaa, four seats went to Center, three to Reform, with two each for Isamaa and EKRE.

SDE member Hergo Tasuja won the most votes - 434.

Kohtla-Järve

The Center Party won in the northeastern Estonian industrial city of Kohtla-Järve by a wide margin with 4,371 votes (42 percent).

Center will get 12 seats on the council, SDE five, Restart Kohtla-Järve four, and the Reform Party and the Progress electoral union two seats each.

EKRE) received 394 votes (3.8 percent) of the vote in the predominantly Russian-speaking city.

Narva

Katri Raik's electoral list won 15 seats in Narva, one seat fewer than an absolute majority for the 31-member council.

Historically, Narva has been dominated by the Center Party but the party came second winning 10 seats.

Eesti 200 won two. Former mayor Aleksei Jevgrafov's election alliance "Elagu Narva" won four seats.

EKRE, which had been campaigning to win Russian-speakers' votes, failed to cross the 5 percent threshold and won no seats on the council.

Raik received 4,512 votes, the highest of any candidate.

In total, 20,794 people voted in the city.

Paide

The electoral alliance "Paide - Inimeste linn" won seven seats on the 23-member council.

Isamaa won four seats followed and three each were given to EKRE, Reform, the electoral alliance "UUS Paide" and Center.

Pärnu

The Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) won the municipal elections in the southwestern resort city of Pärnu ahead of the Reform Party.

EKRE collected 24.1 percent of the vote and will get 10 seats on the council. Next came the Reform Party and the Pärnu Ühendab (Parnu Unites) election coalition, both of which will get nine seats on the council.

Isamaa will get six seats and the Center Party five seats in Pärnu.

Põlva

EKRE won a narrow victory over Reform, although both will gain six seats on the council. The party won 22.5 percent of the vote and Reform 22.2 percent.

Center followed closely behind on 20 percent and will also receive six seats.

Eesti 200, Isamaa and the electoral alliance Põlva Areng will each get three seats.  

Rae municipality

The Reform stronghold of Rae, in Tallinn's prosperous commuter belt, retained its majority, winning 14 seats on the 25-seat council. Eesti 200 won four seats, EKRE and Isamaa three each and SDE one.

Reform will be in government in Rae alone, with the other parties in opposition.

Reform's Riigikogu group chair, Mart Võrklaev got 884 seats, joint-highest with Madis Sarik, a former municipality mayor.

Rakvere

Isamaa won nine of the 21 seats available in Rakvere.

EKRE and Center each won four seats, SDE two with one each going to Reform and Eesti 200.

Saaremaa

Electoral union Terve Saaremaa won eight seats on the council and gained 25.7 percent of the vote.

EKRE and Reform Party received six mandates each, Isamaa five, Center four and Estonia 200 two. 

Saue municipality

The Koostöö - Meie Vald electoral union won the largest number of seats at 11 (40 percent of the vote), but not an overall majority on the 27-seat council in the Tallinn commuter belt municipality.

Rural municipality mayor Andres Laisk bagged 1,012 thousand votes

The remaining seats were divided between Reform (five), Eesti 200 (four), Isamaa (four) and EKRE (three).

Isamaa candidate and former prosecutor general Lavly Perling won a seat with 579 votes.

Tallinn

The Center Party won 45.4 percent of the vote in Tallinn and will receive 38 seats on the city council. The party needed 40 for an absolute majority.

In total, 191,615 voted.

  • Center: 45.5 percent (86,994)
  • Reform: 17.8 percent (34,201)
  • EKRE: 9.5 percent (18,289)
  • Eesti 200: 9.5 percent (18,158)
  • SDE: 7.5 percent (14,445)
  • Isamaa: 7.1 percent (13,562)
  • Greens: 2.2 percent (4,221)

Read more here.

City of Tartu

Reform continues to be the biggest party in Tartu. It won 36.8 percent of the vote, securing 19 seats in the council.  

EKRE and Estonia 200 will both get eight seats, Isamaa and the Social Democratic Party five seats each and Center four.

In total, 40,381 people voted.

The number of votes are as follows:

  • Reform: 36.8 percent (14,857)
  • EKRE: 16.6 percent (6,716)
  • Eesti 200: 15.9 percent (6,404)
  • Isamaa: 9.7 percent (3,936)
  • SDE: 9.5 percent (3,825)
  • Center: 8.8 percent (3,309)
  • Greens: 2.7 percent (1,106)

Valga

Center narrowly won the vote in the southern border town of Valga, with 119 votes more than electoral alliance Valga 2.1, headed by incumbent rural municipality mayor Monika Rogenbaum.

Both Center and Valga 2.1 won eight seats each, with Reform (six seats) and EKRE (three) joining them in the council chamber.

Viimsi

The Reform Party won six seats on the 21-member council, two fewer than at the last election in 2017.

Election alliance Kogukondade Viimsi, Center and Eesti 200 each won three seats, EKRE, Isamaa and election alliance Vali Viimsi each gained two seats.

Eesti 200's Lauri Hussar gained the highest number of votes, winning 660.

Viljandi

The electoral alliance Südamega Viljandis won eight seats on the 27-member council.

This was followed by seven seats for Reform, four each for EKRE and Isamaa, and two each for Center and Eesti 200.

Candidate Helmen Kütt received the highest number of votes - 866.

Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder won 326 votes and Minister of Public Administration Jaak Aab 157.

Võru

The Social Democratic Party (SDE) gained 10 seats in Võru - one less than an absolute majority - on the 21- member council.

EKRE won five seats, Reform three, Isamaa two and Center one.

Minister of Culture Anneli Ott (Center) received 85 votes.

This article was updated to include results from Haapsalu, Rae, Saue and Valga municipalities.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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