Party ratings: Isamaa closing gap on SDE
Opposition Isamaa is gaining in support on the Social Democratic Party (SDE), also in opposition, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, while the top three parties, the Reform Party, the Center Party and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) remain relatively stable in support compared with previous weeks, the combined support for the two coalition parties, Reform and Center, is the lowest since the partnership entered office in January.
The coalition picked up 43.2 percent of support, according to the survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), while the three opposition parties polled at 40.7 percent.
The survey is the second from Norstat since the local elections of October 17, though it is based on the current make-up at the Riigikogu, rather than in the localities.
EKRE remains most supported at 24.7 percent, Norstat says, with Reform just over a percentage point behind (23.6 percent) and Center on 19.6 percent.
Non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 is next on 12.5 percent, SDE on 8.1 percent with Isamaa just behind, polling at 7.9 percent among respondents and its highest rating since August 2019.
Commenting on the results, University of Tartu political scientist Tõnis Mölder said that there had been no big change among the three largest parties, with Center continuing a modest growth in support.
He said: "While the Center Party did not increase its support last week, there have been no major deviations from their recent slight growth trend. The Center Party has improved its position among non-Estonian voters, while their support among ethnic Estonians continues to decline."
"Estonia's four-week average remains in the same region where he has been for the past four months, although the results of their last week show that the election may have had a good effect on their support," he continued.
Isamaa's support has seen a clear trend for since the spring, on the other hand, Mölder said, with a rise in support particularly noticeable in recent weeks among women voters, to the extent that this outstripped support among men voters – whereas previously the reverse had been the case, he said.
A disappointing showing for SDE, however, is also reflected in the latest Norstat poll, which shows support falling for the second week in a row, meaning Isamaa and SDE are at near-convergence.
Support for EKRE and Reform have stabilized, he added.
The next elections are to the Riigikogu, in March 2023.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte