Poll: Kaja Kallas still most popular candidate for next prime minister

Prime ministerial candidates.
Prime ministerial candidates. Source: Urmet Kook / ERR

Current Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) is still the most preferred candidate to lead the country after the next election, a new survey shows. She is followed by Jüri Ratas and Martin Helme.

Pollster Kantar Emor, commissioned by ERR, asked respondents who they would like to be prime minister after the March 5 Riigikogu election.

The results showed 37.3 percent of participants back Kallas, a slight rise from 36.7 percent last week, and 4 percent more than two weeks ago.

Former Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Center) was the second most popular with 20.5 percent and then EKRE Chairman Martin Helme with 13.6 percent. Both saw slight declines in popularity over the course of the week.

Parempoolsed's Lavly Perling was the fourth most popular choice (3.7 percent), followed by Isamaa Chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder, (3.2 percent), SDE's Lauri Läänemets (2.3 percent) and Eesti 200's Lauri Hussari  (2.1 percent).

Additionally, 8.5 percent of respondents favored another candidate while 8.8 percent had no preference.

Support for parties and their leaders

Comparing data for candidates and parties, support for Kallas, Ratas and Perling is higher than the organizations they lead.

While support for Hussar, Seeder, and Läänemets is lower than that of their parties.

Helme's popularity is on par with EKRE's.

Support by gender and ethnicity

Kallas is supported by an almost equal number of men (35 percent) and women (39 percent).

The same trend is noticeable among Ratas' supporters which show he is more popular among women (23 percent) than men (19 percent).

However, Helme is much more popular amongst men (18 percent) than women (10 percent).

When looking at data by ethnicity, Kallas is by far the most popular amongst Estonians with 44 percent. Ratas (15 percent) and Helme (14 percent) are a long way behind.

But among voters of "other nationalities" Ratas is the clear favorite with 42 percent support. Both Kallas and Helme have 11 percent support.

Kallas is the most preferred candidate among all demographic groups except residents of Ida-Viru County and respondents with an income of less than €500 per family member.

Kallas' support rose among Eesti 200 and SDE voters

Prime ministerial preferences of supporters of different political parties (%). Source: Kantar Emor / ERR

Similar to last week, candidates from bigger parties had more support as prime ministers than those from smaller or newer parties.

A substantial number of voters from Eesti 200 (52 percent) and SDE (42 percent) chose Kallas as the preferred prime ministerial candidate instead of their own parties' chairmen.

These results may be explained by voters having a realistic understanding of who will and will not be prime minister after the election.

Isamaa's Seeder was the preferred candidate for 33 percent of the party's supporters, followed by Ratas (21 percent) and Kallas (19 percent).

Kallas, Ratas, Perling and Helme were their respective party voters' top choices.

Kantar Emor polled 1,595 citizens aged 18-84 between February 13-16. One-third responded online and two-thirds by phone. The error rate is ±2.4 percent


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Editor: Helen Wright

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