Party ratings: Eesti 200 support now below SDE, equal to Isamaa

Eesti 200 leader, and Riigikogu speaker, Lauri Hussar.
Eesti 200 leader, and Riigikogu speaker, Lauri Hussar. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Support for coalition party Eesti 200 has plummeted to just above 9 percent, putting it on a par with opposition party Isamaa, according to a recent survey.

More respondents to the survey, conducted by Norstat on behalf of the Institute of Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühishonnauuringute Instituut), pledged for the three opposition parties, the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Center Party and Isamaa – at 49.8 percent, compared with 44.9 percent who pledged for one of the coalition partners: Reform, Eesti 200 or the Social Democrats (SDE).

By party, Reform poll slightly ahead of EKRE, at 25.7 percent and 24.2 percent respectively, both largely unchanged over the past week.

The Center Party picked up 16.4 percent of support, a fall of 1.1 percentage points on week, according to Norstat.

Eesti 200 currently lies at the same rating as Isamaa, both on 9.2 percent, having polled as high as 16 percent back in March. Eesti 200's rating is also below that of its coalition partner, SDE, which picked up 10 percent of support, according to Norstat.

SDE's rating has increased by 1.7 percentage points over the past four weeks, while Isamaa's support has grown by even more, in a shorter time-frame: 1.9 percentage points in the last three weeks. 

Isamaa recently elected Urmas Reinsalu aas new party leader, replacing Helir-Valdor Seeder, who had been in the post since 2017. EKRE reelected Martin Helme as its leader, on the same day as Isamaa held its vote – Saturday, June 10.

The main factors behind Eesti 200's declining rating, on top of the end of the electoral honeymoon phase and its association with unpopular planned government tax hikes and child benefit cuts, are likely the fallout from an Ukraine NGO embezzlement scandal which caused one of its MPs to step down, and controversy over another MP's appointment to both the environment committee at the Riigikogu, and a state agency tasked with environmental procurement – all while the MP's main business interests are in timber, and while he also faces misdemeanor charges related to same.

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.)

Norstat conducts its polls on a weekly basis then aggregates them over a four-week period; the latest survey covers the period May 15 to June 12, with over 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age being quizzed during that time-frame, using over-the-phone and online polling methods.

Norstat says it subtracts undecided responses ahead of publishing the above data.

Norstat claims a margin of error in proportion to the size of representation of the party in question, so for instance Reform's margin of error is +/- 1.65 percent, Norstat says, whereas the results for parties with smaller levels of support would also have smaller margins of error.

The next elections are to the European Parliament, a year hence.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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