Party ratings: Center support at all-time low

Center Party logo above the party's Tallinn headquarters.
Center Party logo above the party's Tallinn headquarters. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Support for the coalition Center Party has fallen to one of its lowest levels of all time, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile Center's coalition partner, Reform, has seen its support rise significantly.

The survey, conducted by pollsters Turu-uuringute, found support for Center at 14 percent of respondents, one percentage point lower than in February and considerably lower than its support in January, which Turu-uuringute reported at 20 percent.

Reform's support has moved in the other direction: From 18 percent in January and February, to 23 percent in March.

The non-parliamentary Eesti 200 party, one of Reform's biggest competitors, came in second in the Turu-uuringute research, at 22 percent, compared with 20 percent in February and 23 percent in the first month of the year.

The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) was third with 21 percent (January: 24 percent, February: 22 percent).

The other two opposition parties, the Social Democrats (SDE) and Isamaa, picked up 8 percent and 7 percent respectively, according to Turu-uuringute, figures largely unchanged from January and February.

The non-parliamentary Greens (Rohelised) picked up 2.5 percent of support from respondents to Turu-uuringute's survey.

Survey results from the other two main market research companies in Estonia conducting regular political party polls paint a similar picture, with Center's support falling, Reform's rising, Eesti 200's remaining buoyant and EKRE's largely static after a fall in the first two months of 2022.

Reasons for changes in Reform and Center's support levels in particular may in part relate to the current security situation. While some experts feel that Reform and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas in particular were seen to take the initiative early on in the conflict, now in its fourth week, boosting the party's support levels, Center has been hampered by its long-held position as the party of choice for Russian-speaking voters, whose position on the war is likely to vary widely.

Center also had a controversial agreement with United Russia, Vladimir Putin's party, which Center says it has now annulled.

EKRE has so far pursued a policy of unity on the war; given it is the dominant issue this makes normal opposition work difficult.

Please note that polling companies have changed the frequency and methodology of their market research, which often makes longer-term ratings comparisons less clear.

The next elections are to the Riigikogu, on March 5 2023.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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