While support for the three largest political parties by seats, Reform, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Center Party, remained relatively static in the latest weekly party survey from pollsters Norstat, support for the non-parliamentary Eesti 200 – at one point in the same bracket as the big three in terms of polls, has continued to fall.
Reform is at the time of writing in office alone as a minority government, meaning all the other parties are in effect in opposition at the Riiigikogu, or – as in the case of Eesti 200 and the Greens – not currently represented at the Riigikogu.
The latest Norstat poll is also the first weekly poll to have been released following the exit from office of the Center Party.
Reform polled at 34.8 percent according to Norstat's latest results in a poll conducted on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), while EKRE picked up 19.8 percent of support and Center 17.9 percent.
Reform is now 15 percentage points ahead of the second-placed party, EKRE, while the latter are just under 2 percentage points ahead of Center.
Eesti 200's support fell by 1.1 percentage points over the past week, Norstat reports, and now sits at 11.2 percent, 8.5 percentage points behind its previous peak in early March this year.
Isamaa picked up 7.1 percent and the Social Democrats (SDE) 6.4 percent – a transposing of the positions the parties occupied earlier in the year but clearly above the 5-percent threshold needed to win seats in a given constituency, under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation.
The Green party polled at 1.7 percent, unchanged from the previous week.
Former Green party leader Züleyxa Izmailova recently joined Eesti 200, a party which competes most strongly with the Reform Party in terms of voter demographics. Reform and its prime minister, Kaja Kallas, has continued to ride a wave of popularity following the latest invasion of Ukraine by Russia starting in late February and Kallas' perceived handling of the crisis and high international profile. No discernible difference has yet percolated through into support ratings for Reform one way or another, following the prime minister's dismissal of the seven Center Party ministers who had been in her cabinet, almost two weeks ago.
The latest aggregate results from Norstat cover the survey period from May 16 to June 13.
When presenting its results, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and Norstat Eesti have focused on the combined result of the last four weeks, which means that the sample will comprise a minimum of 4,000 people, Norstat says.
The margin of error Norstat claims varies in direct proportion to the size of the party by popularity. For instance, in the case of Reform with 34.8 percent support, Norstat claims an error margin of +/- 1.48 percent, compared with +/- 0.76% for SDE, with 6.4 percent of support.
The next election is to the Riigikogu, in March 2023.
Editor: Andrew Whyte