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Party ratings: Reform overtake EKRE, SDE surpass Center

SDE leader and interior minister, Lauri Läänemets, with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, leader of the Reform Party.
SDE leader and interior minister, Lauri Läänemets, with Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, leader of the Reform Party. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

The Reform Party has overtaken the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) in support ratings, according to a recent survey, while the coalition Social Democrats (SDE) have also moved ahead of the Center Party.

A total of 57 percent of respondents to the survey, conducted by pollsters Norstat on behalf of conservative think tank the Institute of Societal Studies (MTÜ Ühiskonnauuringute Instituut), pledged their support for one of the three opposition parties, EKRE, Isamaa or Center, while 38.2 percent did so for one of the coalition partners – the Reform Party, SDE or Eesti 200.

By party, 26.2 percent of respondents picked Isamaa, 18.2 percent, Reform, while 17.6 put their support behind EKRE, in the latest results issued Wednesday.

These "top" three are followed by SDE on 13.9 percent of support, Center on 13.2 percent, and Eesti 200, which polled at 6.1 percent.

Support for Isamaa remained largely unchanged on week, while as noted Reform overtook EKRE. The former's support has risen 1.4 percentage points on last month, albeit from a low baseline, while EKRE has seen its rating fall by 3.1 percentage points over the same period.

SDE saw growth in support of 3.2 percentage points in just three weeks, and 1.6 percentage points on the week, to surpass Center and to reach a five-year peak.

SDE was the beneficiary of four of the six MPs recently to have quit Center, which has seen its support fall by 2 percentage points over the past three weeks.

The line graph below shows changes in party support since early 2019, when 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 = Estonian Greens, orange = Parempoolsed).

Norstat conducts its surveys on a weekly basis, aggregating these over the preceding four-week period.

For the latest survey results, Norstat polled 4,000 Estonian citizens of voting age (18 plus) over the period December 18 to January 22.

The surveys were conducted both online and over the phone, while Norstat says it weights is survey sample of respondents according to various socio-economic indicators.

Norstat has also presented the results of the past week alone, which sampled 1,000 respondents.

Ratings by past week alone

On the past week, Isamaa polled at 23.5 percent, Reform at 18.8 percent, EKRE at 17.9 percent, SDE at 17.5 percent, Center at 11 percent and Eesti 200 at 6.8 percent.

While the order of parties by support is identical here with the four-week results, it can be seen that SDE is far more ahead of Center, and far closer to EKRE on place above it, over the past week compared with the past month.

Norstat claims a margin of error in direct proportion to the party's size by support. So for instance for Isamaa, as the most-supported party, the error margin is +/-1.57 percent, compared with +/-0.86 percent in the case of Eesti 200, the least- supported of the six Riigikogu parties.

The next elections take place in June, to the European Parliament.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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