The latest Estonian party ratings survey showed that a duel is going on between the Reform Party and the Center Party, and the high hopes put on Center were starting to fade, chairman of the opposition Conservative People's Party (EKRE), Mart Helme said on Friday.
“The Center Party's ratings decreased mainly due to decisions made regarding tax policy, which are now hitting them hard," Helme told BNS. "These decisions are also hitting the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), whose minister of finance needs to defend positions that can't be defended."
Helme said that contrasting pairs had emerged among the parliamentary parties. "The two big ones are the Reform Party and the Center Party, who are in a duel between themselves, the two middle ones are us and the Social Democratic Party (SDE), who differ in terms of worldview and are holding a duel—sometimes with us in the lead, sometimes with them, but in principle the magnitude of support is the same—and then there are the Free Party and IRL. They have been a pair like that, but now we see that the Free Party is beginning to lead, and IRL has been left behind," Helme said.
Helme commented on the decline in the ratings of the Greens by saying that “The Greens have tried to get in the picture with Rail Baltic and forests, but have not succeeded".
"It is clear that parties that have a credible organization behind them—the Reform Party, Center Party, SDE and EKRE—also have a firm and loyal electorate even in the form of membership. IRL also had that, but rifts within the party have increased and the organization is in a state of entropy," Helme said. "The Greens and the Free Party basically don’t have an organization, and if campaigns come, it is clear that parties with strong organizations will field strong campaigns,” he added, saying that everyone else would be left out.
In May the opposition Reform Party was supported by 27.5 percent of respondents, while the coalition Center Party's support was 21.8 percent. The support of the coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) was 17.8 percent, of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) 13.4 percent, of the Free Party 9.9 percent, and of the third coaltion partner, the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) 5.6 percent.
Compared to April, Reform Party's support increased by 3 percent, SDE's by 2.4 percent and IRL's by 0.9 percent, while the Center Party's support fell by 3 percent, the Free Party's 1.3 percent and EKRE's by 0.7 percent.
Of the parties outside parliament, the Estonian Greens had the highest support, or 3.7 percent, which is 1.2 percent less than in April.
Just like in April, support for the government coalition was 45 percent, while 27.1 percent of respondents said they had no preference, 1.5 percent more than in April.
Kantar Emor interviewed 950 voting-age citizens of ages 18-74 in their homes and over the internet for the survey from May 12 to 18.
Editor: Dario Cavegn