Ratings: Coalition parties' support falls on week

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The 13 members of the new Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition (standing) take office, while (seated) some of the outgoing ministers, plus State Secretary Taimar Peterkop, look on. April 17, 2023.
The 13 members of the new Reform-Eesti 200-SDE coalition (standing) take office, while (seated) some of the outgoing ministers, plus State Secretary Taimar Peterkop, look on. April 17, 2023. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Support for the three coalition parties has fallen over the past week, while that of two of the three opposition parties has moved in the opposite direction, according to a recent survey.

The newly sworn-in coalition comprises the Reform Party, Eesti 200 and the Social Democrats (SDE).

Support for Reform fell by two percentage points over the past week, to 24.3 percent, according to the survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the the Institute of Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühishonnauuringute Instituut).

Norstat aggregates its results over a four-week period, so the result a week ago for Reform (26.3 percent reflected the preceding four weeks up to that point; the latest result is likewise aggregated).

Eesti 200's support has dropped slightly, by 0.2 percentage points over the same period, to 15.3 percent.

SDE's support has fallen to 9.5 percent, from 10.3 percent the week before, Norstat says.

Of the three opposition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has seen its support rise from 18 percent to 19.8 percent.

The Center Party went from 16.9 percent support last week to 17.7 percent this week, while Isamaa, which was nominally in office until Monday, remained unchanged in its rating, and was picked first by 7.9 percent of respondents to the Norstat survey.

Of the unrepresented parties, the Estonian Greens (Rohelised) polled at 1.5 percent, while Parempoolsed picked up 2.2 percent of support.

Both ratings are comparable with how the two parties performed at the March 5 Riigikogu election; in Parempoolsed's case, surpassing 2 percent qualified the party for state support.

The line graph below shows the relative changes in party support levels since Norstat started compiling its surveys in their current format, over four years ago (Key: Yellow = Reform, green = Center, black = EKRE, royal blue = Isamaa, red = SDE, light blue = Eesti 200, light green = Estonian Greens, orange = Parempoolsed, the latter was only founded in 2022), while the tables following show the aggregate four-week ratings, and the week-by-week ratings (starting from January 234).

Of potential causes of the drop in support for the coalition parties, perceptions over how various proposed tax reforms and hikes were introduced – ie. in the post-election coalition agreement where no mention was made of such policies in the run-up to the election – is one of the most likely factors.

Norstat's latest results cover the period March 21 to April 17 as an aggregate, while a total of 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age were polled, both online and over the phone. The error margin is in proportion to the size of the party by representation, so for instance the results for Reform, with the largest support rating, also carry with them the largest margin of error, at +/1 1.62 percent, Norstat says.

EKRE placed first if compared with previous week alone

Looking at Norstat's results on the past week alone, ie. not aggregated, EKRE in fact placed highest in the ratings.

For the week April 10-17, based on 1,000 respondents' answers, EKRE polled at 24.6 percent, Reform at 21.6 percent.

Center also overtook Eesti 200 on this basis, at 17.2 percent and 14.2 percent respectively.

The positions of the remaining parties would be unchanged, with SDE polling at 9.3 percent, Isamaa at 7.3 percent, Parempoolsed at 2.1 percent, the latter just ahead of the Greens this time, on 2 percent.

The above is of course based solely on the past week's results, compared with the preceding week.

This article was updated to include data on the week-on-week survey responses.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael

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