Kantar Emor ratings: Support for Reform fell sharply in April

Support for the Reform Party fell most out of the three coalition partners, between March and April.
Support for the Reform Party fell most out of the three coalition partners, between March and April. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR, graphics: JJ Oidermaa

Support for the coalition Reform Party fell from 29 percent to 23 percent, between March and April this year, according to a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by pollsters Kantar Emor and commissioned by ERR, was conducted in March, following the Riigikogu elections that month, and again in April.

The total support of the three coalition parties, Reform, the Social Democrats (SDE) and Eesti 200, stood at 52 percent in April, down from 57 percent in March, Kantar Emor says.

The three opposition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Center Party and Isamaa, together polled at 41 percent in April, up from 37 percent last month.

Reform polled at 31.2 percent on election day itself, March 5, but by the end of the month the level had dropped to 29 percent, according to Kantar Emor.

This month, the figure stood at 23 percent, the lowest rating the prime minister's party has had since February 2022.

Kantar Emor research expert Aivar Voog put the six percentage-point drop in support for Reform down to the coalition's announcement that it would be hiking taxation, via various means.

"The Reform Party has come under the bulk of the direct criticism, since they did not talk about raising taxes ahead of the election, while the prime minister's party is seen as bearing the most responsibility for doing this," Voog said.

Conversely, "Eesti 200 and SDE's ratings have as yet not been impacted on by the coalition agreement pledges," he added.

The agreement was unveiled on April 8, concurrent with the three parties signing that agreement.

Eesti 200 polled at 17 percent in April, according to Kantar Emor, but so too did the two larger opposition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Center Party, leaving all three parties neck-and-neck.

In March, Eesti 200 and EKRE had been on a par at 16 percent; Center polled at 15 percent that time.

Support for the Social Democrats (SDE) remained unchanged at 12 percent this month, while Isamaa, the other opposition party, saw a one percentage-point rise in support, to 7 percent, in April.

The non-parliamentary Parempoolsed party, founded last year, reached its highest level so far, according to Kantar Emor, at 4 percent – one percentage point below the threshold needed to win Riigikogu seats.

The Estonian Greens (Rohelised) polled at 3 percent, the United Left Party (EÜVP) at 1 percent.

By demographic, Reform was the most popular party among native Estonian-speaking voters in April, at 27 percent, EKRE was second on 18 percent, and Eesti 200 third, on 17 percent. SDE polled at 13 percent, Isamaa at 8 percent and Parempoolsed picked up 4 percent.

Among voters of "other nationalities", meaning overwhelmingly Russian-speaking Estonian citizens, 43 percent backed Center, Kantar Emor said, far ahead of the rest of the pack, with Eesti 200 on 13 percent, reform on 11 percent and EKRE and SDE polling at 10 percent each, this month.

By region, Center and Reform were even-stevens in the capital, Tallinn, with both picking up 23 percent of support, followed by Eesti 200 (17 percent), SDE (15 percent) and EKRE (9 percent).

In Ida-Viru County, Center was clearly in front, picking up 38 percent of support there in Kantar Emor's April survey – though this figure is considerably lower than what the party would have polled at in the past, the region remains a relative bedrock of support for Center.

Reform was in front in practically the rest of Estonia – in Harju and Rapla counties, the so-called "golden triangle" area around Tallinn; in western Estonia and the islands, in Tartu and environs, and in Jõgeva County.

In Southeastern Estonia, EKRE polled highest, however.

The above data did not include respondents who answered "cannot say" to party preference questions, in order to make the results as comparable to a Riigikogu election – where a "don't know" option is not available on ballot papers – as possible.

The share of "can't say" respondents in April stood at 19 percent, up from 13 percent in March.

The proportion was twice the level (at 32 percent) among respondents of "other nationalities" than among native Estonian-speakers (16 percent).

If the "can't say" answers are factored into the April results, however, Reform would have polled at 19 percent (compared with 26 percent for March), followed by EKRE at 14 percent (unchanged on March), Eesti 200 on 13 percent (14 percent in March), and then Center, on 12 percent (down one percentage point last month).

SDE's results would remain unchanged at 6 percent, after including the unpledged respondents, while Isamaa and Parempoolsed would both have seen a one percentage-point rise, to 6 percent and 4 percent respectively, between March and April.

Kantar Emor was commissioned by the ERR newsroom to conduct the above survey, which it did between April 10-19, polling 1,495 Estonian citizens of voting age (capped at age 84). A third of respondents were quizzed over the phone, the remainder online.

Kantar Emor claims a maximum +/-2.52 percent.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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