Norstat: Kallas still preferred as PM, Reinsalu more popular than Helme

Martin Helme (EKRE) and Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa),
Martin Helme (EKRE) and Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa), Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

According to the results of a recent poll conducted by NGO Institute for Societal Studies and Norstat, Kaja Kallas (Reform) remains the candidate most respondents prefer to be Estonia's prime minister. Jüri Ratas (Center) was the second most popular candidate, while Isamaa's Urmas Reinsalu was third in the poll.

Survey respondents were asked, who they would prefer to see as Estonia's prime minister and given the option to choose from among the leaders of all the parties currently represented in the Riigikogu.

The results showed that 23.7 percent of preferred to see Kaja Kallas (Reform) retain her current position as PM. 20.2 percent backed former prime minister Jüri Ratas (Center), while 15.8 percent said they would like to Isamaa chair and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu in the role.

EKRE's Martin Helme was the preferred choice for 14.4 percent of those polled. Lauri Läänemets (SDE) and Lauri Hussar (Eesti 200) were first choice for just 3.1 percent and 1.2 percent of the survey's respondents respectively.

21.7 percent said that the did not know which current party leader they would prefer to be prime minister.

The most notable change when compared to similar polls conducted in the recent past, is the increase in popularity of Urmas Reinsalu, who leapfrogged EKRE's Martin Helme into third place. Kaja Kallas and Jüri Ratas, the latter of whom is set to step down from his position as Center Party chair in September, remain the most popular two candidates among those polled.

Among Reform Party supporters, Kallas is far and away the preferred candidate for the post of prime minister, with 82.4 percent backing the current PM. Kallas is likewise preferred by 43.3 percent of Eesti 200 supporters and 28.5 percent of those who support the Social Democratic Party (SDE).

Kaja Kallas is also the most popular among Estonian nationals (27.7 percent) and women (26.3 percent), who took part in the survey.

Among respondents of other nationalities, Jüri Ratas was the most popular, with 36.1 percent expressing the wish to see him return as prime minister. Ratas was only preferred by 16.5 percent of respondents with Estonian nationality, meaning he was less popular among that demographic than Urmas Reinsalu, who had 18 percent support. Reinsalu proved the most popular choice for Isamaa supporters, with 64 percent backing their party leader.

Among men surveyed, Martin Helme's popularity (20.4 percent) was almost as high as Kaja Kallas' (20.5 percent). Helme was the second most popular candidate for PM among respondents of other nationalities (15 percent). The EKRE leader was the fourth most popular choice for those with Estonian nationality (14.3 per cent).

63.7 percent of EKRE supporters said Helme was their preferred choice for Estonian PM.

SDE chair Lauri Läänemets was the third most popular candidate for the position of prime minister among voters of his own party (15.7 percent ). SDE supporters preferred both Kaja Kallas and Jüri Ratas (21.8 percent) to be prime minister rather than Läänemets.

Eesti 200 chair Lauri Hussar ranked fourth among supporters of his own party (6.7 percent). According to the poll, Eesti 200 supporters back Kallas, Jüri Ratas (13 percent) and Urmas Reinsalu (12 percent) ahead of Hussar.

The Norstat poll was conducted online on August 28-29. A total of 1,000 Estonian citizens aged 18 and over took part in the survey.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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