Opposition party Isamaa is now closing on the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in its rating, according to a recent survey, while Reform has seen a fall in support and is now in third place.
The poll, conducted on a weekly basis by Norstat, on behalf of conservative think-tank the Institute of Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), found that a total of 35 percent of respondents support one of the three coalition parties, Reform, Eesti 200 or the Social Democrats (SDE), while 60.1 percent pledged their support for one of the three opposition parties: EKRE, Isamaa or the Center Party. Undecided respondents made up the difference.
Norstat aggregates its weekly surveys over a four-week period; the preceding four-week period's results found EKRE polling at 23.2 percent, Isamaa at 22.4 percent and Reform at 19 percent.
While EKRE's support has remained largely static since late August, Isamaa's has continued to rise – by 2.2 percentage points over the past week according to Norstat – while Reform's has fallen, by one percentage point over the week.
EKRE's lead over Isamaa is now just 0.8 percentage points, while the Reform Party lies 3.4 percentage points behind Isamaa.
Norstat started compiling its survey, under its current format, in early 2019; the current results for Isamaa and Reform are the highest and lowest ratings respectively that Norstat has reported in that time.
The "top" three parties are followed in the ratings by Center (at 14.5 percent), SDE at 9.9 percent and Eesti 200 on 6.1 percent; all largely unchanged ratings since the previous week.
Eesti 200's leader, Lauri Hussar, announced this week he would be stepping down in order to focus on his role as Riigikogu speaker, meaning the party will be searching for his replacement.
News of Hussar's resignation came too late to have any influence on Eesti 200's rating one way or another.
The graph below illustrates changes in party support levels since Norstat started compiling its surveys, in early 2019. (Key: Yellow = Reform, green = Center, black = EKRE, royal blue = Isamaa, red = SDE, light blue = Eesti 200, light green = Estonian Greens, orange = Parempoolsed.)
Norstat polled just over 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age over the period October 10 to November 6.
Individual party ratings are calculated with the "don't knows" extracted.
Norstat claims an error margin in direct proportion to a party's size by support – so for instance for EKRE, which polled highest in the recent survey, a margin of error of +/- 1.58 percent is claimed, compared with +/- 0.9 percent in the case of Eesti 200.
Norstat used a combined method of quizzing respondents, via an online questionnaire and over the phone, while the sample groups are weighted to various socio-demographic indicators, Norstat says.
The next elections to be held in Estonia are to the European Parliament, in June 2024.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots