The support gap between the Reform Party and the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) has narrowed to just 0.5 percentage points, at least according to one recent survey.
The research, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute of Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühishonnauuringute Instituut), finds that Reform polls at 23.7 percent of respondents, compared with 23.2 percent for EKRE.
Furthermore, slightly more respondents (47.1 percent) picked one of the three opposition parties – EKRE, Center or Isamaa – over the 46.9 percent who pledged for one of the coalition partners, Reform, Eesti 200 or the Social Democrats (SDE).
This is the first time since the coalition entered office, albeit only last month, that support for the opposition parties has exceeded that for the coalition, Norstat says.
The Center Party polled at 16.5 percent, Eesti 200 at 14.7 percent, SDE at 8.5 percent and Isamaa picked up 7.4 percent of support, in the latest Norstat poll.
While Reform's support did not alter significantly over the past week, EKRE's rose by 1.3 percentage points, narrowing the gap as noted to below the one percent-mark.
EKRE has seen its support, according to Norstat, rise by 6.6 percentage points over the past six weeks. Center's has remained more stable.
The line graph below shows the relative changes in party support levels since Norstat started compiling its surveys in their current format. (Key: Yellow = Reform, green = Center, black = EKRE, royal blue = Isamaa, red = SDE, light blue = Eesti 200, light green = Estonian Greens, orange = Parempoolsed.)
The latest Norstat survey covers the period April 10 to May 6 inclusive (Norstat conducts its polls on a weekly basis and then aggregates them over four weeks) and quizzed 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age, to make the results as close to those to be expected at a Riigikogu election as is possible.
Norstat has been conducting surveys along these lines since early 2019, and uses a combination of online and over-the-phone means of communication.
Norstat claims a margin of error in direct proportion to the size of that party's support, so for instance the claimed error margin for Reform (+/- 1.59 percent) as the largest party by support is higher than that of Isamaa (+/- 0.98 percent) as the smallest party by current support, of the parties represented at the Riigikogu.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots