Russia's aggression against Ukraine has considerably changed party ratings in Estonia – the Reform Party has restored a clear lead, while the Conservative People's Party (EKRE), the most popular toward the end of last year, finds itself tied with Center for third and fourth place.
The Kantar Emor poll commissioned by ERR reveals that in the case of Riigikogu elections tomorrow, the ruling Reform Party would take 26 percent of the vote. The party was the first choice of 19 percent of people in January and 20 percent in February.
Kantar Emor survey expert Aivar Voog told ERR that the Reform Party has partly restored its traditionally clear lead in the polls.
"This reflects the prime minister's position in the ongoing security situation, in which role the Reform leader has succeeded," Voog said.
The Emor poll gave second place to non-parliamentary Eesti 200 with a result of 19 percent, down two points from 21 percent in February.
"Eesti 200 was forced to surrender some of its supporters to the prime minister's party," Voog offered.
Reform's coalition partner, the Center Party, and opposition EKRE were tied for third and fourth place on 18 percent (Center on 18.1 percent versus EKRE on 17.7 percent). Support for Center was 20 percent in January-February, while that for EKRE has fallen the most since 22 percent in January.
"The rating of EKRE, who dominated the end of last year, is clearly experiencing a downtrend, with the party now tied for third-fourth with Center," Voog said.
Isamaa split too recent to affect rating
Support for the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDE) and Isamaa came in at 8 percent and 6 percent respectively. Both parties have lost one percentage point since a month ago.
Aivar Voog said that Isamaa's inner split has not yet manifested in its rating. The party evicted four leaders of its in-house Parempoolsed (Right-wingers) group last week.
The Estonian Greens boosted their rating to 4 percent in March (up from 3 percent in February). The Estonian Party for the Future (TULE) had the backing of just 0.9 percent of people.
The coalition was supported by 44 percent of people and the opposition by 32 percent in March, with the gap widening compared to the coalition's 40 percent versus the opposition's 36 percent last month.
Non-parliamentary parties represented 24 percent of respondents in March, which situation is unchanged since February.
Reform Party gaining ground among Estonian voters
Reform's recovery was strongest among Estonians, women and people under the age of 50. Support for the party among Estonian voters jumped from 22 percent in February to 32 percent in March.
EKRE and Eesti 200 are virtually tied for second among voters who identify as Estonian, with 20 percent and 19 percent respectively.
Center had the support of just 9 percent of Estonian voters, down from 12 percent in February.
At the same time, Center is still firmly in the lead among non-ethnic Estonians on 52 percent, unchanged from a month ago.
Eesti 200 was the second choice for the group (18 percent), followed by SDE (12 percent).
Support for Reform and EKRE only goes as far as 7 percent among non-ethnic Estonians, having fallen for both since February.
The Reform Party was the first choice for voters in Tallinn with 29 percent, up from 20 percent in February.
The Center Party was still the most popular in Tallinn in February on 31 percent that has now dropped to 25 percent in March.
The pollster also asked respondents who they would vote for as their second choice.
The Reform Party and Eesti 200 were the second choice of 41 percent of people questioned, with the parties usually serving as one another's replacements.
A considerable number of Eesti 200 voters also considers SDE their plan B (close to 31 percent).
The Social Democrats are also the second preference of Center voters (18 percent).
Most EKRE voters would back Isamaa (28 percent) as their preferred alternative.
SDE voters would go for Eesti 200 (43 percent).
Isamaa voters are split between Reform (24 percent), Eesti 200 (21 percent) and SDE (20 percent) as their second choice.
Share of voters without preference falling
Kantar Emor held its nationwide poll March 10-16 during which time it interviewed 1,274 voting-age citizens with a clear preference. Half of the respondents were interviewed online and half over the phone.
Kantar Emor provides data for those respondents who had a political preference. This allows the results to be compared to Riigikogu elections. In March, 20 percent of people approached could not state their political preference, down from 24 percent in February, which trend could be attributed to the tense security situation in the region.
Editor: Marcus Turovski