The opposition Isamaa party has overtaken the Center Party in the polls, at least according to one recent survey.
A total of 54.1 percent of respondents to the survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute for Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), picked one of the three opposition parties – Isamaa, Center or the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), compared with 41 percent who chose one of the three coalition partners – the Reform Party, Eesti 200 or the Social Democrats (SDE). The remainder would have been undecided.
For Isamaa, the result represents the sixth consecutive week of rising support, with the latest figure being 15.8 percent according to Norstat.
This places the party third behind Reform on 24.4 percent of support, and EKRE, on 23 percent.
It is also Isamaa's highest support rating recorded by Norstat since it started conducting its surveys in their current guise, in early 2019.
The "top" three are followed by Center, just 0.5 percentage points behind Isamaa at 15.3 percent, SDE on 10.2 percent, and Eesti 200, which polled at 6.4 percent.
Center's support has moved in the opposite direction, according to Norstat, by 3.2 percentage pints in the past six weeks.
Both Isamaa and Center have obtained new leaders in recent months; former foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu became Isamaa leader in mid-summer, while Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart was elected Center's leader last month.
Support for the Reform Party has not changed significantly over the past week, Norstat says, though it has fallen by 1.5 percentage points over the past two weeks.
EKRE's support has also remained static, in the 23-24 percent range, over the past seven weeks, Norstat says.
The gap between Reform and EKRE is 1.4 percentage points.
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 =
Norstat conducts its polls on a weekly basis, quizzing around 1,000 Esotnian citizens of voting age.
It then aggregates these results over a four-week period, in other words the latest survey covers the four weeks September 4-11, September 11-18, September 18-25 and September 26-October 2.
The company says it uses both online and phone research methods, and weights its respondents' sample according to various socio-economic and demographic indicators.
Norstat claims a margin of error in direct proportion to the size of the party by support, so for instance the results for Reform, as the most-supported party, are accompanied by a +/- 1.62 percent margin of error, compared with +/- 0.92 percent for Eesti 200 as the smallest of the elected parties by support at present.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots