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April party ratings: Despite decline, Reform retains strong lead

Reform Party Chairwoman Kaja Kallas flanked by Kert Valdaru and Jürgen Ligi. April 14, 2018.
Reform Party Chairwoman Kaja Kallas flanked by Kert Valdaru and Jürgen Ligi. April 14, 2018. Source: Sander Koit/ERR

Despite a four-percent drop in its rating, the opposition Reform Party has maintained a nearly ten-percent lead over the senior coalition member Center Party, it appears from the results of a survey commissioned by BNS and Postimees and conducted by Kantar Emor this month.

If elections were to be held the next day, 30 percent of respondents to indicate a political preference would vote for the Reform Party, while another 21.6 percent would vote for Center.

The opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) earned the support of 19.1 percent of respondents, while the coalition Social Democratic Party (SDE) earned the support of 10.6 percent.

The non-parliamentary Estonian Greens polled above the five-percent election threshold at 6.1 percent, while the opposition Free Party and coalition Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) tied just above it at 5.8 percent.

 "The Reform Party firmly maintains the lead with 30 percent, even though their support has declined somewhat, apparently due to voters with more random preferences changing their minds," said Kantar Emor survey director Aivar Voog. "In a breakdown by sociodemographics, a decline has occurred primarily among men and voters under the age of 35."

According to Voog, EKRE, whose rating exceeded 19 percent for the first time, is gaining on the Center Party, which is currently in second place. The increasingly popular opposition party is supported primarily by residents of small towns and rural areas.

"The Greens emerging at a level of six percent is exceptional; the last time they were at this level was more than seven years ago," he highlighted. "The next elections will indeed demonstrate whether this is a random fluctuation or something that is here to stay for a longer term. The Greens' rating is higher than average among ethnic Estonians, Tallinn residents, better off respondents as well as among students."

Voog noted that the aggregate rating of the three parties that comprise the ruling coalition — Center, SDE and IRL — totaled less than 40 percent for the fourth month running. "The parties of the ruling coalition are supported primarily by non-ethnic Estonians, Tallinn residents, women and pensioners," he added.

The aggregate rating of the three coalition parties fell 0.5 percent on month to 38 percent in April. As recently as in December, the coalition's rating totaled 44.5 percent.

The aggregate rating of the three opposition parties, meanwhile, totaled 60.7 percent.

A total of 908 citizens between the ages of 17-74 were surveyed online from April 12-18. 27 percent of respondents did not indicate a political preference; their responses were eliminated from the outcome to make the results as comparable as possible to the outcome of a Riigikogu election.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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