Party ratings: Reform widens gap on EKRE, Center
Reform is the only political party in Estonia to have seen its support rise since before Christmas, according to a recent poll. The party has widened the gap in support between it and the second- and third-placed parties, though may see stiff competition for votes from Eesti 200 in the next elections, 14 months from now.
A total of 46.2 percent of respondents to the survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), said they back one or other of the two coalition parties, Reform and Center, while 35.4 percent pledged for one of the three opposition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), Isamaa or the Social Democrats (SDE).
Reform, the prime minister's party, was most-supported again, and the only party to see a rise since the last survey just before Christmas.
Reform's support rose by 1.7 percentage points over that period, to 25.9 percent, according to Norstat, while it has grown by 5.2 percentage points since the end of November, when its support was at its lowest in recent years.
EKRE lies in second place with 20.6 percent, fractionally ahead of Center (20.3 percent).
Neither party has seen its support levels alter significantly since before Christmas.
The top three are followed by non-parliamentary party Eesti 200 (15.7 percent), Isamaa (7.8 percent) and SDE (7 percent) – the latter's support has been falling of late, by two percentage points over the past month, according to Norstat.
Political scientist Martin Mölder told daily Postimees (link in Estonian) that Reform had increased its support to a more comfortable margin ahead of EKRE and Center, qualifying this by saying: "support for the Reform is, however, currently even lower than it was in the 2019 elections and the two years that followed."
The recent surge in support for the prime minister's party has come among lower-middle-income voters, he said, while for higher earners, Reform has been haemorrhaging support to Eesti 200
"This is one indication that the rivalry between the Reform Party and Eesti 200 promises to be fierce ahead of the forthcoming Riigikogu elections next year," Mölder added.
Norstat aggregates its results over a four-week period, plus the holidays, in this case from December 1 to January 4, while 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age were polled.
Norstat is one of three market research firms regularly to conduct such party surveys in Estonia, the other two being Turu-uuringute and Kantar Emor.
The next elections are to the Riigikogu, in March 2023.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte