Eesti 200's continued surge in popular support – the party is currently tied for second place according to one recent poll – is a case of success breeding success, party leader Kristina Kallas says, with a strong performance in last month's local elections the main factor in this month's strong ratings.
"We had a very good result in the local elections and I think the public's trust in us has grown significantly as a result. We are being taken seriously, we are strong as an organization and we believe we can act. I think that this is all the result of the local election," Kallas told ERR on Wednesday.
While more people have joined the party, it does not focus on boosting its membership at all costs and picks new members carefully, meaning its membership will grow only slowly, Kallas said.
"We are growing our membership very carefully, involving people who are a known quantity; we contact them, talk about the reasons why they want to get into politics – but we are not chasing numbers. We want these people and their worldview to make a contribution," she went on.
At present, Eesti 200 membership stands at 812, Kallas said, compared with over 10,000 the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) reported in September.
The minimum number of members a party needs to legally continue as such is 500.
Tallinn, Tartu, some Harju County municipalities such as Viimsi and Jõelähtme, and also Viljandi and Saaremaa were among the party's strongholds, Kallas said.
A recent survey by Turu-uuringute placed Eesti 200 in joint second place in ratings, behind Reform, on a par with EKRE and ahead of Center.
The party won its first seats at the October 17 local elections, the third elections it had contested since its formation in 2018.
Editor: Andrew Whyte