Party ratings: Reform re-takes second place behind EKRE, closes gap
Reform has retaken second place in support from the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), according to a recent poll, though the two parties are almost neck-and-neck. Center remains in third place, also close behind, while the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 continues to perform strongly.
According to the latest weekly poll conducted by Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), the two coalition partners, and largest parties by Riigikogu representation, Reform and Center, combined poll at 43.3 percent of respondents, and have thus widened the gap on the three opposition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa, who poll at 38.9 percent.
EKRE remains most-supported party, by Nostat's reckoing, at 22.2 percent of respondents.
Reform has reclaimed second place from Center, polling at 21.9 percent versus 21.4 percent respectively.
EKRE's support has fallen by 1.3 percentage points over the past week – in early October the party polled at its highest since Norstat started its weekly survey in early 2019.
Reform is virtually on a par with 0.3 percentage points separating the two parties.
After a long period of decline starting in late summer, the prime minister's party has picked up by 1.2 percentage points over the past week. The party's support had ebbed by over 10 percentage points since mid-August, Norstat says.
Center's support remains largely unchanged, though it has fallen to third place (thanks to the growth in support for Reform) and just 0.5 percentage points separate the two coalition partners.
The top three are followed by the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 (15 percent), SDE on 8.6 percent and Isamaa on 8.1 percent. All three of these parties have seen a growth in support in recent weeks.
A glance at the graph below can show how the top three parties' support has converged since this time last year.
Commenting on the results, political scientist Martin Molder says that this week's survey results show that the Reform Party has improved its position, while EKRE has seen its rating deteriorate.
Mölder said "Thus, we can now see that support for EKRE is in retreat while that for Reform can be expected to grow also in the upcoming weeks.
"If we were to bring into the mix support for the Center Party, which has remained relatively unchanged in the past weeks, we can see that there is a very close battle for the first place between the three most popular parties and the results of all three are within the distance of statistical error from one another," he continued.
Eesti 200 continues to grow, he noted, though is largely confined to the native Estonian-speaking younger professional class, he said (which makes it a competitor to Reform – ed.).
"The typical Eesti 200 supporter is young, rich, has a higher education, is childless and is likely to be an Estonian-speaker," Mölder summarized.
The next elections are to the Riigikogu in 2023.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte