Ratings: Reform's support continues to drop, EKRE's rises

Reform Party leader and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and EKRE leader Martin Helme.
Reform Party leader and Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, and EKRE leader Martin Helme. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has seen a rise in support over the past week, according to a recent survey, while the Reform Party's support level has continued to fall.

The survey results (link in Estonian), conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative thinktank  the Institute for Societal Studies  (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), were published after the start of advance voting (e-voting, selected polling stations) Monday, though reflect the situation up to February 27. Election day itself is Sunday, March 5.

Norstat found that Reform remains nonetheless the party with the most support, at 28.3 percent, compared with EKRE in second place on 22.78 percent.

The Center Party lies in third place, polling at 18.8 percent according to Norstat.

Reform's support has been falling in recent weeks, Norstat says, and stood at 29 percent a week ago.

EKRE's on the other hand has risen – a week ago the party polled at 21.8 percent with Norsat respondents.

Center has seen a slight fall in support too, down from 19.1 percent last week.

Eesti 200 picked up 9.5 percent (down from 10.3 percent a week ago). The party is contesting its second Riigikogu election this week and hopes to win its first seats in parliament.

Isamaa polled at 8.6 percent, largely unchanged on the preceding week (when it picked up 8.4 percent of support) while the Social Democrats (SDE) have seen a rise, to 7.4 percent (from 6.9 percent).

Both parties polled above the 5 percent threshold required to win seats under Estonia's d'Hondt system of proportional representation.

Below the threshold lie the Estonian Greens (Rohelised) on 1.6 percent (down from 1.8 percent a week ago) and Parempoolsed, unchanged on the previous week at 1.6 percent of support.

The line chart below shows the relative support levels of all of Estonia's major political parties, since Norstat started its weekly surveys in their current format, in early 2019 (Key: Yellow = Reform, green = Center, black = EKRE, royal blue = Isamaa, red = SDE, light blue = Eesti 200 (founded 2018), light green = Estonian Greens, orange = Parempoolsed (founded 2022)).

The two tables below that show the four-week aggregate support levels, from weeks one to four of this year, through to weeks five to eight (first table) and the weekly ratings, starting January 30 this year (second table). (Eesti Keskerakond = Center Party, Eesti Reformierakond = Reform Party, Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond = SDE, Erakond Eestimaa Rohelised = Estonian Greens, "Muu" = other).

University of Tartu political scientist Martin Mölder translated the above results into Riigikogu seats distribution, ie. if polling day were today, in a piece for daily Postimees (link in Estonian).

On that basis, Mölder says, Reform would have won 32 seats (down from its current 34), EKRE would pick up 25 seats (up from 19), Center 20 seats (down from 23), Eesti 200 nine seats, Isamaa eight seats (down from 12) and SDE, seven seats (down from 10).

Norstat aggregates its weekly surveys over a four-week period; the latest survey covers the period January 31 to February 27. Just over 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age were polled, and Norstat claims a margin of error of +/- 1.55 percent.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

Source: Norstat/Institute for Societal Studies

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