While Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) remains firmly in first place in a recent leadership poll, Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) leader Martin Helme has caught up with Center's leader, Jüri Ratas, and there is now nothing to choose between the two, daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reports.
EPL (link in Estonian) wrote of the survey, conducted by pollsters Turu-uuringute, that between September and October: "The leader of the Reform Party, Kaja Kallas, firmly holds the first place on 29 percent, and her popularity has increased by two percentage points since September."
While Kallas is actual prime minister, the poll asked respondents who would be their preferred candidate, with that for Ratas as potential prime minister falling between September and October while Helme's moved in the opposite direction over the same time-frame, EPL says.
Helme's support is now 17 percent, as is Ratas'.
Support for Ratas, who is also Riigikogu speaker, fell by 2 percentage points between September and October while Helme's rose by 5 percentage point over the same period.
Tõnis Stamberg of Turu-uuringute said that while Ratas has been losing support since early summer, more noteworthy is the rapid rise in support for Helme which, he said, mirrors that of the two leaders' parties; EKRE's support has risen to 28 percent making it second only to Reform, while Center's is currently one 12 percent, on a par with that of non-parliamentary party Eesti 200, Turu-uuringute finds.
By demographic, Helme has seen his support rise significantly among women voters, from 8 percent in Septmeber to 14 percent this month. EKRE has traditionally been supported by men more than women, while support for Helme as potential prine minister also rose among men – from 16 percent to 21 percent over the same time-frame.
Meanwhile, Ratas remains most-supported among non-Estonians, meaning predominantly Russian speakers.
34 percent of this category pledged their support to Ratas as prime minister, compared with just 5 percent for Kaja kallas.
Of the three other major party leaders, only 4 percent pledged their support for Lauri Läänemets (SDE) or Helir-Valdor Seeder (Isamaa) respectively, while 5 percent picked Eesti 200's then-leader Kristina Kallas.*
The Turu-uuringute survey covered the period September 29 to October 11 and polled 865 citizens of voting age.
The general election is on March 5 2023.
*Kallas, no relation to the prime minister, was replaced by Lauri Hussar as Eesti 200 leader after a vote on Saturday, October 15, ie. after the period the Turu-uuringute poll covered.
Editor: Andrew Whyte