Party ratings: Reform, EKRE see slight decline in support

Popular support for the coalition Reform Party continues to fall, according to a recent survey, while the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) continues to be most-supported party nationwide, though its support levels have been ebbing also.

Most other parties saw a trend towards a rise in support.

The latest weekly poll conducted by Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues ((MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut) shows that Reform and its coalition partner Center are supported by a total of 42.4 percent of respondents combined, two percentage points ahead of the 40.4 percent garnered by the three opposition parties, EKRE, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa.

EKRE alone picked up 23.5 percent of support, compared with 21.7 percent for Center and 20.7 percent for Reform, now in third place and at its lowest level since Norstat started conducting weekly surveys, in early 2019.

Non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 follows, with 14.3 percent support. SDE polled at 9 percent, and Isamaa at 7.9 percent, Norstat says.

Political scientist Martin Mölder said that compared with the preceding week, little has changed in party ratings, though EKRE reached its current peak in support before the October local government elections and has since seen a slight decline in recent weeks.

Mölder said: "Additionally, we're seeing the long-term downward trend in support for the Reform Party continue. Virtually all other parties have rather improved their position during or after the local government elections."

"Since at the same time, no significant change has been observed in the share of voters without party preference, we can assume that nearly all Reform's competitors have picked up support at their expense," he continued.

For the smaller parties, the Estonian Greens and TULE, support levels remain relatively stable at 2-3 percent and 1 percent respectively, which, Mölder noted, suggests that at least in the case of the Greens, whose long-serving leader Züleyxa Izmailova announced recently she would not be seeking reelection in January, the political currents which affect the major parties and impact on their support levels do not affect them so much.

The next election is to the Riigikogu, in March 2023.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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