Party ratings: EKRE maintains slight lead over Reform
Support for the coalition Reform Party is continuing to fall, while the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) is holding on to its narrow lead, according to a recent survey.
The two coalition parties, Reform and Center, together polled at 43.5 percent, according to the research, conducted by pollsters Norstat on a weekly basis on behalf of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), while the three opposition parties, EKRE, Isamaa and the Social Democrats (SDE) picked up 39.8 percent of support.
Norstat's weekly poll results are aggregated over a four-week period and focus on a Riigikogu election rather than municipal elections, as took place last month, or European elections.
In this week's poll, EKRE on its own polled highest at 23.8 percent, slightly ahead of Reform on 23.2 percent, while Center polled at 20.3 percent.
EKRE's support has dropped 1.4 percentage points a month ago, albeit from its all-time highest rating, in Norstat's estimation. EKRE has 19 Riigikogu seats.
Reform's support is continuing to ebb, and the party is currently at its lowest level, by Norstat's reckoning, since early 2019 and just before the last Riigikogu election. Reform is the largest party by Riigikogu seats, with 34.
Center, in third place, has seen some recovery after a long period of decline, Norstat says, and its support exceeds the 20-percent mark for the first time since spring. The 2.9 percentage points it lags behind Reform by is the smallest gap between the two parties for over two-and-a-half years. Center has 25 Riigikogu seats.
Non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 polled at 13.6 percent, SDE (10 seats) 8.1 percent and Isamaa (12 seats) 7.9 percent.
Eesti 200's support has risen slightly on last week, by 1.1 percentage points, Norstsat says. SDE and Isamaa's ratings are largely unchanged.
The Estonian Greens polled at 1.7 percent, down from 1.9 percent the week before. The Greens currently have no Riigikogu seats, though the party held a seat in the past.
University of Tartu researcher Martin Mölder said this week's results do not point to any major changes in party support.
He said: "Both the Reform Party's and EKRE's support have fallen slightly compared with last week, so at least at the moment it seems that the growth of EKRE's support has clearly stopped, while the Reform Party's support continues to decline."
"It can be assumed that the taking of government responsibility from the Reform Party has so far led to the majority of supporters who are not among these core voters," Mölder continued.
As for the other parties, Mölder said Center is continuing its rehabilitateion among non-Estonian voters, at the expense of all other parties.
In the last few weeks, Eesti 200 has also clearly increased its support, especially among ethnic Estonian voters.
"Among non-Estonian voters, however, they have lost significant support, and Eesti 200's overall support is still far from the level it was at at the end of last year; it is still difficult to say whether this is a long-term trend or just a temporary oscillation," Mölder added.
The next election is to the Riigikogu, in March 2023.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte