The coalition Reform Party has resecured a firm lead in Estonia's party ratings, while fellow coalition member and parliamentary newcomer Eesti 200 managed to halt the steep drop in support it saw following the Riigikogu elections this spring, according to the results of a nationwide survey commissioned by ERR and conducted by Kantar Emor.
Reform led the rankings with 26 percent support, up from 25 percent in June and 23 percent in May. In other words, the drop in support seen by the prime minister's party immediately following the elections has since reversed course. Nonetheless, this still falls decidedly short of the 31.2 percent of the vote they earned in the elections themselves.
The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) ranked second most popular in July with 20 percent support. While this was down slightly from their 21 percent support last month, it was nonetheless significantly higher than the 16.1 percent of the vote EKRE earned in March.
Coming in third in July was the opposition Center Party with 16 percent support. Center polled with 17 percent support in June and 18 percent in May, indicating a slight wane in popularity. The party earned 15.3 percent of the vote in this spring's elections.
The coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) ranked fourth overall in popularity this month with the support of 12 percent of voters, remaining steady on month. This March, Social Democrats earned 10 percent of the vote at the ballot box.
Following in the rankings is the coalition Eesti 200, with the support of 10 percent, and the opposition Isamaa with 9 percent of voters. Eesti 200, which took 13.3 percent of the vote in March, saw a brief rise in support afterward, jumping to 17 percent in April, but this fell back to 13 percent in May and 9 percent in June.
While separate parties' ratings in percentages taken individually didn't see any significant changes, the current government coalition's combined rating this month totaled three percentage points higher than that of the opposition. This marks a reversal from May and June, when the opposition's combined rating outstripped that of the coalition.
The nonparliamentary Parempoolsed and Estonian Greens each earned the support of 3 percent of voters, while the Estonian United Left Party (EÜVP) had the support of 1 percent. A month earlier,
This month, Kantar Emor polled a total of 1,486 voting-age Estonian citizens. "Don't know" responses accounted for 24 percent of all voting-age citizens surveyed, up slightly from 23 percent last month and including 22 percent of ethnic Estonians and 32 percent of those of other ethnicities support for these three parties polled at 4, 2 and 1 percent, respectively.
When taking "don't know" responses into account, support for Reform in June stood at 21 percent (up from 20 percent in June), support for EKRE at 15 percent (16 in June) and support for Center at 11 percent (13 percent in June).
SDE followed with 9 percent and Eesti 200 and Isamaa each with 7 percent support, remaining unchanged compared with the previous month.
Click here to read Kantar Emor expert Aivar Voog's commentary regarding July's party ratings results.
Support by respondent group
Among ethnic Estonians, Reform was supported by 32 and EKRE 22 percent of those surveyed. The SDE, Eesti 200 and Isamaa followed, virtually tied for support at 11 percent, 10 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Center saw the lowest support of all parliamentary parties among ethnic Estonian respondents at 8 percent. Within the same group, Parempoolsed were supported by 4, the Greens by 3 and EÜVP by just 0.17 percent of respondents.
Among respondents of other ethnicities, the Center Party remained most popular, earning the support of 47 percent of respondents. Center was followed by EKRE with 15 percent and the SDE with 12 percent support. Eesti 200 followed in turn with 9, Reform with 7 and EÜVP with 6 percent support, while the Greens, Parempoolsed and Isamaa each saw 2 percent support.
In Tallinn, support for the Reform Party reached 27 percent, with Center not far behind with 24 percent support. Following in the rankings were SDE and EKRE with 14 percent support each, and Eesti 200 with nearly 10 percent support. Support for Parempoolsed stood at 4 percent, Isamaa 3 percent, EÜVP 3 percent and the Greens at 1 percent.
In Ida-Viru County, Center topped the rankings with 27 percent support, followed by Reform with 22 percent and EKRE 20 percent support. Support for the EÜVP in Estonia's northeasternmost county, which brought them nearly 15 percent of the vote in March, stood at just 5 percent in July.
By region, Reform held the lead in popularity in Harju, Rapla, Lääne-Viru, Tartu and Jõgeva counties, while EKRE polled most popular in Western Estonia and on the islands as well as in Southern Estonian counties.
EKRE is the first party of preference among respondent groups with lower incomes — with household incomes of up to €650 per member — and Reform the preferred choice of respondent groups with higher incomes — with household incomes above €650 per member.
Commissioned by ERR's online news portal, from July 10-20, Kantar Emor surveyed a total of 1,486 voting-age citizens between the ages of 18-84; one-third of respondents were surveyed by phone, while two-thirds were polled online. At this sample size, the margin of error does not exceed ± 2.5 percent.
Editor: Aili Vahtla