Ratings: Support for parties by Riigikogu electoral district

Riigikogu polling day is Sunday, March 5, 2023.
Riigikogu polling day is Sunday, March 5, 2023. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Market research firm Kantar Emor has outlined the support of political parties by district, ahead of the March 5 Riigikogu election.

Estonia has 12 electoral districts for Riigikogu elections (see also map), and the list below gives the top three most-supported parties, together with the percentage of respondents who picked that party.

The results are an aggregate of two separate Kantar Emor surveys, which polled close to 3,000 Estonian voters in total.

Electoral district no. 1 (Tallinn Haabersti, Põhja-Tallinn and Kristiine districts): The Reform Party picked up 29 percent support, followed by 23 percent for the Center Party. Eesti 200, the Social Democrats (SDE) and EKRE are roughly neck-and-neck.

Electoral district no. 2 (Tallinn Kesklinn, Lasnamäe and Pirita districts): Center placed first, with 33 percent, in the district where current Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart is running. Reform finished in second place, with 27 percent, while EKRE came third.

Electoral district no. 3 (Tallinn Mustamäe and Nõmme districts):  Reform has the highest support here at 36 percent of respondents, followed by Center (22 percent) and EKRE (13 percent).

Electoral district no. 4 (Harju and Rapla counties): Reform is the clear leader with nearly 43 percent of support from respondents, in this, the second-most populous electoral district, which comprises the bulk of the affluent Tallinn commuter belt and in which Prime Minister Kaja Kallas is running. EKRE finished second (17 percent), closely followed by Eesti 200 (13 percent). Center came fourth.

Electoral district no. 5 (Hiiumaa, Lääne County and Saaremaa):  Reform predominates in this district also, with 41 percent, followed by EKRE (21 percent). SDE and Eesti 200 follow.

Electoral district no. 6 (Lääne-Viru County):  EKRE finished top here with 31 percent of support, followed by Reform, Center and Isamaa, who polled at roughly the same levels.

The 12 Electoral Districts in Estonia (Riigikogu elections). Source: Ljubinka/Wikimedia Commons

Electoral district no. 7 (Ida-Viru County):  Reform and Center are neck-and-neck here. Center's MEP, Yana Toom, is running in this district, though this support is likely to have been mitigated somewhat by the expulsion of Mihhail Stalnuhhin, who is running as an independent candidate this time.

Electoral district no. 8 (Järva and Viljandi counties):  EKRE is in first place with 29 percent Reform (22 percent) and Isamaa (16 percent) follow. Isamaa garnered more support here than in any other district, likely due to the party leader, Helir-Valdor Seeder, running there.

Electoral district no. 9 (Jõgeva and Tartu counties): Reform leads with 29 percent, though EKRE is not far behind on 24 percent, according to Kantar Emor.

Electoral district no. 10 (Tartu City): Just as Tallinn has traditionally been a Center Party stronghold, so is Estonia's university town the equivalent for the Reform Party, who poll at 37 percent, according to Kantar Emor. EKRE follows on 21 percent, while Eesti 200 and Isamaa jointly occupy third place. The district is where Center is at its weakest, at least according to current ratings.

Electoral district no. 11 (Võru, Valga and Põlva counties):  EKRE and Reform poll at 26 percent apiece, followed by SDE on 14 percent.

Electoral district no. 12 (Pärnu County):  Reform leads here too, with 32 percent, even as the district is somewhat of an EKRE stronghold. The latter poll at 25 percent, follwed by Center and Isamaa.

Voters can attend any polling station within the electoral district in which they are registered, on polling day, while some polling stations are open in the advance voting period, as is e-voting.

Estonian elections (Riigikogu, local, European) use the d'Hondt system of proportional representation; voters must choose one candidate only, and there is no option to vote against any candidate, nor to rank candidates in order, as with the single transferable vote system.

The above 12 districts pertain to the Riigikogu elections only. Each of Estonia's 79 municipalities constitutes an electoral district at local elections, while the entire country is counted as a single district at European elections.

Voter preferences Riigikogu elections generally tend to be more party-based, than candidate-based, at least compared with the municipal elections and the European parliamentary elections, though as noted candidates can have an effect on ratings even in this case.

Kantar Emor's survey on most-supported individual candidates by district is here.


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Editor: Urmet Kook, Andrew Whyte

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