Kantar Emor ratings: Eesti 200, SDE support rises, Isamaa's falls
The Reform Party remains most-supported in Estonia, followed by Eesti 200, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Center Party, according to a recent survey.
The research, conducted by pollsters Kantar Emor and commissioned by ERR found that Eesti 200, which Reform is in coalition negotiations with, EKRE and the Center Party are all very close to each other in turns of support.
Eesti 200's support has been rising since the start of the year, the survey, the first Kantar Emor has conducted on party support ratings since the March 5 Riigikogu election, finds.
Meanwhile, the Social Democrats (SDE), also in coalition negotiations with Reform and SDE, has seen a slight rise in support since the start of the year, though that of Isamaa, in office in the current, caretaker administration but not party to the ongoing coalition talks, has seen a fall in support over that time frame.
Thus Reform has a firm lead, with 29 percent of support, according to Kantar Emor. At the same time, this represented a slight fall on the 30 percent posted in four polls Kantar Emor held in February and in early March, in the weeks immediately before the election, while in January the party polled at the same level.
It is also lower than the number of mandates the party picked up at the 101-seat Riigikogu on March 5 – 37, up from the 34 seats Reform previously hed.
Eesti 200 (16.3 percent support), EKRE (15.7 percent) and Center (15.4 percent) are virtually even-stevens, according to Kantar Emor, which since Kantar Emor claims a +/- 1.8 percent error of margin in these cases, equates to equal support.
By seats, Eesti 200 won 14 on March 5, its first at the Riigikogu, EKRE picked up 17 (down from its previous 19), and Center took 16 seats (down from the 23 it held at the end of the XIV Riigikogu's term).
The average of Kantar Emor's four surveys in the weeks leading into the March 5 election put EKRE on 17 percent, Center on 16 percent and Eesti 200 on 14 percent.
Since the start of the year, SDE's support has been rising – to 12 percent in the latest poll, compared with 10 percent on average in February, and 9 percent in January, according to Kantar Emor.
SDE won nine seats on March 5.
Isamaa has seen a drop in support, to 6 percent in the latest survey, compared with 8 percent on average in February.
Isamaa now has eight Riigikogu seats.
Parempoolsed sees continued, slow growth
The newest party on the scene, Parempoolsed, has seen a slow growth in support recently – from 2 percent in February, to 3 percent in the latest Kantar Emor survey.
The party was only constituted last fall, and while it missed out on Riigikogu seats (for which a 5 percent minimum of the vote is needed), it surpassed the 2 percent level needed to qualify for state support, a significant development.
Below that threshold lie the Greens on 1.6 percent, and the United Left Party (EÜVP), on 1.5 percent.
While the EÜVP polled significantly highly in Ida-Viru County on March 5, at as high a level as 11 percent, this was not mirrored nationwide.
The three would-be coalition partners, Reform, Eesti 200 and SDE, together poll at 57 percent, according to Kantar Emor's latest survey (compared with 60 seats together at the soon-to-be-sworn-in XV Riigikogu).
The three de facto opposition partners, EKRE, Center and Isamaa, together poll at 37 percent.
Support by demographic
Support for the Reform Party stood at 34 percent among voters whose native language is Estonian, compared with 18 percent apiece for Eesti 200 and EKRE.
SDE was next with 12 percent, while Isamaa and Center picked up 7 percent of support each; Parempoolsed polled at 3 percent.
Among respondents from "other nationalities", meaning in practice voters whose native language is Russian, the Center Party leads with 47 percent. This demographic has traditionally provided a bedrock of support for Center, though not to the extent that it once did.
Reform (13 percent), SDE (12 percent) and Eesti 200 (11 percent) were all almost the same in terms of support in this demographic, while EKRE polled at 9 percent, according to Kantar Emor. EÜVP polled at 6 percent.
In Tallinn, the Reform Party and the Center Party share the first place equally with 27 percent, according to Kantar Emor.
The capital has traditionally been a stronghold for Center, which had an absolute majority at the Tallinn city council chambers until the October 2021 local elections, and now is in coalition with SDE.
As for the latter, the party polls at 14 percent in Tallinn, just ahead of Eesti 200 (13 percent) and EKRE (10 percent).
In Ida-Viru County, Center still polled the highest, at 33 percent, compared with16 percent support each for Reform and EKRE.
Meanwhile, EÜVP picked up 11 percent of support as noted, ahead of Eesti 200 (10 percent) and SDE (9 percent), in Ida-Viru County.
Kantar Emor support ratings with "can't say" respondents factored in
When presenting the results, Kantar Emor removed the "can't say" respondents, to make the results comparable with those of a Riigikogu election, where of course such an option is not available on ballot sheets.
This figure stood at 13 percent in the first Kantar Emor survey after the election, an exceptionally low figure, the company says, and perhaps reflecting the need to concentrate minds that an election brings.
By demographic, the figure was even smaller (10 percent) among Estonian-speaking respondents, and as high as 22 percent among respondents of other nationalities.
If the unpledged respondents are factored into the latest Kantar Emor results, Reform polls at 26 percent, Eesti 200 and EKRE follow on 14 percent each, and Center polls at 13 percent.
The figure for SDE would be 10 percent, for Isamaa 5 percent and for Parempoolsed, 3 percent.
Kantar Emor conducted the above survey on behalf of public broadcaster ERR*s newsroom, between the period March 9 and March 17, quizzing 1,586 people aged 18-84.
One-third of respondents were questioned over the phone, and two-thirds online.
Kantar Emor claims a maximum overall margin of error of +/- 2.52 percent.
Kantar Emor's Aivar Voog is due in studio at ERR at 11 a.m. Tuesday, to discuss the implications of the latest survey results with ERR's head of news and sport, Anvar Samost, and head of portals, Urmet Kook. An English translation of this is likely to follow later in the day.
Please also visit ERR News' 2023 elections page here.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Urmet Kook