When the Reform Party elected Kaja Kallas their chairwoman in April this year, this boosted the party's public approval ratings, getting them the best result in recent years. Now this effect seems to be wearing off, with Reform slightly behind the governing Centre Party.
Centre Party in the lead, 2% ahead of Reform
If the next Riigikogu were to be elected tomorrow, 27% of Estonians would vote for Prime Minister Jüri Ratas' Centre Party. The Reform Party would came in a close second, with 25% of the vote. While Reform's ratings have dropped since ERR's last survey in June, the Centre Party's ratings on the same level.
For the Reform Party this means a downward trend over the last few months. After Kaja Kallas was elected chairwoman of the party in April, Reform's ratings shot up to 33%, the best they have had in several years. In May they were down to 30 and in June to 28%. August's 25% now see them back at the same sort of level the party had under Kallas' rather ruthlessly ousted predecessor, Hanno Pevkur. Under him, the party scored an average 24% in its 2017 ratings.
EKRE's rise continues, party now at 19% support
The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) meanwhile continued on their way up, gaining 1% in August and now at 19%. This is the highest EKRE has ever ranked in a survey commissioned by ERR.
Social Democrats recovering, Pro Patria, Greens, Free Party struggling
The Social Democratic Party (SDE) has managed to gain as well, going from 9% in June to now 11% in August, showing signs that the party is slowly recovering from its low in April, where they stood at just 6%, just a hair's breadth away from the 5% election threshold.
While SDE are doing better, Pro Patria, the Free Party, and the Greens are still either on knife's edge or below the threshold. Pro Patria (formerly IRL) has the approval of just 5% of voters. The Greens have recovered a little, doubling their support from 2% in June to 4% in August.
The Free Party meanwhile is in free fall, dropping from an already dismal 4% in June to just 2% in August. All three parties have been struggling with low ratings for months, in the case of the Greens years.
Coalition enjoys 8% higher support than opposition in August
August's ratings are positive for the coalition on the whole as well, showing support for the government of Centre Party, SDE and Pro Patria at 43%. The opposition meanwhile, made up of the Reform Party and EKRE, made it to 35%.
Compared to June, this means the government has gained 2% while the opposition lost a staggering 15% compared to its previous public approval.
The survey was carried out for ERR by polster Turu-uuringute AS between 8 and 26 August. A face-to-face survey polled 1,000 people at their homes. The survey takes into account those responses only that included a political preference to get the scenario as close to a Riigikogu election as possible.
The next Riigikogu elections are on 3 March 2019.
Editor: Dario Cavegn