Poll: Reform, Center parties see fall in support
A new poll commissioned by ERR and carried out by Kantar Emor shows support for the Reform and Center parties fell this week. Other parties made small gains.
Kantar Emor asked respondents in each electoral district to select the candidate they would vote for from a choice of each party's top three runners.
Researcher expert Aivar Voog said these top candidates attract an average of 80 percent of the votes which is enough to make generalizations.
Unsurprisingly, the Reform Party was the most popular with 28.7 percent but its support has declined recently. It has fallen by 4.1 percentage points over the last three weeks.
EKRE's support has risen and the party is now clearly leading over Center, rising from 16.9 percent to 18.2 percent. The party's support has not been dented by the so-called Prigozhin scandal.
Center's support fell from 16.4 percent to 13.4 percent.
Voog said Center is running a campaign than other parties and so there are fewer chances to return a result as high as they did in 2019. In the last election, the party won 23.1 percent of the vote.
Eesti 200 polled 13.4 percent, the same as last week. It was 13.9 percent the week before that.
Support for smaller parties rose. SDE's from 8.2 percent to 10.1 percent, and Isamaa's from 6.4 percent to 8.5 percent. These were both above the margin of error.
Voog said SDE's success is down to its advertising campaign which has made the party more visible.
"In February, the advertising efforts of political parties have increased significantly, with the Reform Party, EKRE, Isamaa, Eesti 200 and SDE now advertising more vigorously. All this is reflected in a greater dispersion of the parties' ratings," he said, summarizing the changes in political party support.
Parempoolsed recieved 2.3 percent support and the Greens 2.4 percent, both increases on 1.7 percent the week before. Other parties gathered 3.3 percent support between them.
Potential Riigikogu seats
Based on the polling, Kantar Emor calculated the number of seats each party would win in the Riigikogu.
Reform would be allocated 34 (last week 38), EKRE 20 (18), Center 14 (17), Eesti 200 would get 14, SDE 10 (eight) and Isamaa nine (six).
With this distribution in mind, the current Reform/SDE/Isamaa coalition would have enough seats for a majority of 53.
A coalition between Reform Party/Eesti 200/SDE would have 58 mandates. If SDE was replaced with Isamaa it would total 57.
Center and EKRE would not have enough mandates to form a coalition by themselves as they would only have 38 when 51 are needed. Adding Isamaa would bring the total to 43.
It would also not be possible for all the other parties to form a coalition and leave both Reform and EKRE in opposition.
Theoretically, a coalition could be formed without Reform, but it would include SDE or Eesti 200 working alongside EKRE, which they have both ruled out.
Usual weekly survey
Kantar Emor also carried out its usual weekly survey where respondents are asked to choose the party they would vote for.
Reform has 28.2 percent support compared to 31 percent week last week, EKRE's support rose to 18.1 percent from 17.2 percent, and Center's dropped from 16.2 percent to 13.9 percent. Eesti 200 stayed the same 13.4 percent.
SDE was 10.4 percent of respondents' top choice, Isamaa 9.1 percent, the Greens 2.9 percent and Parempoolsed's 2.2 percent.
Among voter groups
Reform (33 percent), EKRE (20 percent) and Eesti 200 (16 percent) were the three most popular parties among Estonians.
Among voters of other nationalities, Center (42 percent), EKRE (12 percent) and SDE (12 percent) were the most popular.
EKRE and Isamaa are more popular with men, while all other parties have more support among women.
Kantar Emor's survey took place between February 20-22 and 1,577 voting-age citizens took part. One-third were polled by phone and two-thirds online. The margin of error is 2.4 percent.
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Editor: Helen Wright