Poll: Dissatisfaction with performance of prime minister, government rises

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) at a cabinet sitting.
Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) at a cabinet sitting. Source: Government Office

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to a recent poll said they were dissatisfied with the work of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform), while over half disapproved of the way the government as a whole has been working.

These results, from a survey conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), represent a rise in dissatisfaction of several percentage points on the previous survey, ERR reports.

A total of 63 percent of respondents to the poll, conducted around the turn of the year, said they do not approve of Kaja Kallas' leadership in response to a yes/no question on the same, while 26 percent said they approved, and 10 percent could not comment, ERR reports.

56 percent said that the government has been performing its work "somewhat poorly" or "poorly".

35 percent said they though the government was performing "well" or "quite well", and 9 percent were in the don't-knows category.

As to other questions posed, 55 percent of those polled said that they disagreed with the manner in which the prime minister had been conducting their job, compared with 35 percent who approved with it.

Commenting on the latest results, Martin Mölder, researcher at the Johann Skytte Institute for Political Studies at the University of Tartu, said that being in coalition with Reform, the prime minister's party, should be a matter of concern for the Center Party, given a majority of its voter base does not approve of Reform, according to the survey.

"There is no clearly overwhelming approval for the Prime Minister from among the supporters of other parties, while it is especially noteworthy that supporters of the Reform Party's coalition partner, Center, do not approve of the Prime Minister's activities (73 per cent).

"Being in this government is a potential support risk for the central party, and in order for the government to survive, the other government party must also be aware of it," Mölder added.

Mölder said: "The electorate as a whole is not satisfied with the work of either the government or the prime minister, and the first month of the new year has significantly increased this dissatisfaction."

Mölder added that the results also suggested that the current government was representative more of the Reform Party, rather than the populace as a whole.

He said: "Looking at the distribution of support between the government and the prime minister, it could be stated that the current government and the current prime minister do not represent the Estonian electorate as a whole, but, instead, rather narrowly, supporters of the Reform Party."

"Only the majority of supporters of ' the squirrels' are positive about the activities of the government and the prime minister," Mölder went on, referring to the Reform Party logo, which is a squirrel.

Among respondents to the survey who were Reform Party supporters, 77 percent said they approve of Kaja Kallas actions, with the figure for the government as a whole performing well being at 82 percent, Mölder noted.

The Study of Societal Issues started commissioning its survey evaluating the work of the prime minister and of the government in October, on a monthly basis and twinned with a party preference survey.

The latest poll was conducted between January 25 and 31, and was answered just over 1,000 Estonian citizens living in Estonia and aged 18 or older.

Norstat says it weights its samples on key socio-demographic indicators and uses a hybrid 'phone/online survey method.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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