A major factor in the coalition Centre Party's growth in popularity of late has been the support thereof among ethnic Estonian voters, with the support of which Estonia's most popular political party surpassed the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) to become the second party of choice for Estonian voters after Reform.
Over the years, the Centre Party has retained the image of being Estonia's so-called "Russian party," but in the time Jüri Ratas has served as chairman of the party, he has begun swinging the party more toward ethnic Estonian voters — and pretty successfully, when you consider the numbers.
The Centre Party has been steadily growing its support among Estonian-language voters, it appears from the results of the ERR-commissioned Turu-uuringute AS survey. In August, Centre had the support of 16% of voters, which increased to 18% in September and 20% in October. By November, Centre had surpassed EKRE as the second most popular political party among ethnic Estonians, beating the latter 22% to 19%.
Reform, meanwhile, remains a clear favourite among the country's ethnic Estonian voter base with 28% of the vote.
Among voters of other ethnicities, the majority of whom are native Russian speakers, despite a 1% drop in popularity, the Centre Party has maintained a runaway lead over any other possible rivals with the support of 73% of voters.
Other parties to earn the support of voters of other ethnicities include Reform (7%), the Social Democratic Party (SDE, 6%) and to a lesser extent the Estonian Greens (3%) and Estonia 200 (3%).
The Riigikogu elections will take place on 3 March 2019.
Editor: Aili Vahtla