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Political scientist: Results hint at Riigikogu 2023 election outcome

Estonia 200 council meeting on October 10, 2020.
Estonia 200 council meeting on October 10, 2020. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The results of the local elections add context for the next Riigikogu elections in 2023 and the challenges the parties will face in the run-up, University of Tartu political scientist Mihkel Solvak has said.

Speaking to ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Monday evening, Solvak said the results will give voters the confidence to support EKRE and Eesti 200 after they increased their vote share.

"It shows that some political parties have a real chance to get over the [5 percent] threshold in the Riigikogu - in the case of Eesti 200 - or to receive even greater support - in the case of EKRE, for example," he said, speaking about the next national elections.

At the election, EKRE almost doubled its support from four years ago to win 13.4 percent of the vote.

Eesti 200, running in its first local election, won more than 6 percent of the votes. The party narrowly missed the 5 percent threshold at the Riigikogu elections in 2019.

Teadlane Mihkel Solvak Autor/allikas: Priit Mürk/ERR

Looking at the bigger parties, Reform and Center, Solvak said not much changed in Tallinn or Tartu.

Center, while losing its absolute majority, is still the most popular in the capital, and Reform won in Tartu.

Speaking about a future Center coalition in Tallinn, he said it might not be the smartest idea to form one with Reform, which would echo the national government.

It would also give additional ammunition to opposition parties, Solvak added.

"If both Toompea and the capital have the same coalition in power, it will be much easier for those who want change to build a campaign on it to get their message to the electorate. I think a lot depends on this. This is a test of what will now come in the Riigikogu elections," he said.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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