Party ratings: Reform's lead continues to diminish

Reform's three most recent prime ministers, Andrus Ansip, Taavi Rõivas and current incumbent Kaja Kallas, at a recent reception.
Reform's three most recent prime ministers, Andrus Ansip, Taavi Rõivas and current incumbent Kaja Kallas, at a recent reception. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

While the Reform Party remains the most-supported political party in Estonia, its lead over the rest of the pack continues to narrow, according to a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), found that of 43.8 percent of respondents supported one of the three coalition parties – Reform, Eesti 200 or the Social Democrats (SDE), while 51.4 percent pledged their support for one of the three opposition parties, namely the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), the Center Party or Isamaa.

Those undecided would make up the balance.

Commenting on the results, University of Tartu political scientist Martin Mölder told daily Postimees (link in Estonian) that the number of voters without a party preference has remained relatively stable. "This probably means that the Reform Party has instead lost supporters to its competitors, above all to Eesti 200 and SDE," Mölder said.

These latter two parties, in particular SDE, have been gaining support in recent weeks, though, Mölder said, it is too early to assess whether this is a more permanent trend and, in fact, the indications right now are that it is not.

"However, support for Isamaa and the Center Party has been very stable in recent weeks," he added.

By party, Reform was still most-supported at 24.4 percent, followed by EKRE on 23.1 percent, and Center, which polled at 18.5 percent in the latest Norstat poll.

Support for the Reform Party has according to Norstat fallen by 1.4 percentage points in a week, while over the past four weeks, support for the prime minister's party has fallen by a total of 3.9 percentage points.

EKRE's support is 1.1 percentage points higher than it was two weeks ago, and lies 1.3 percentage points behind Reform per Norstat's ratings.

Support for the Center Party has remained stable in recent weeks; the party elects a new leader next month.

These "top" three are followed by SDE at 10.7 percent, Isamaa at 9.8 percent and Eesti 200 (8.7 percent). 

While Eesti 200 seems to have arrested a decline in support ongoing since the March Riigikogu election, SDE's support is its highest since December 2019.

Of the main non-parliamentary parties, Parempoolsed, formed last year, polled at 2.2 percent, below the 5 percent threshold to obtain seats at an election, but above the 2 percent needed to qualify for state support – which the party did indeed do at the March 5 Riigikogu election – while the Estonian Greens picked up 1.6 percent of support.

Norstat conducts its poll on a weekly basis and aggregates these results over four-week periods. The latest survey reflects the period July 24 to August 21; 4,001 Estonian citizens of voting age were polled, both over the phone and online.

Norstat claims a margin of error in proportion to a party's support, so, for instance, Reform, as the most-supported party, carries an error margin of +/- 1.62 percent in respect of its results, while for Eesti 200 the margin of error is 1.06 percent.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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