Isamaa sees decline in membership following Riigikogu election ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder (centre) with Prime Minister and Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas (left).
Isamaa chairman Helir-Valdor Seeder (centre) with Prime Minister and Centre Party chairman Jüri Ratas (left). Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Changes in the membership numbers of Estonia's various political parties two weeks after the 2019 Riigikogu elections indicate that the call of a now-ex member of Isamaa to leave the party did not fall on deaf ears, daily Postimees reports.

In reviewing the numbers of people joining and leaving political parties since the beginning of 2018, the only parties successfully recruiting new members are the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) and the Centre Party; the number of people joining all other parties fall manyfold short in comparison.

In a year and just over three months, more than 1,000 people have joined EKRE, while 760 have joined the Centre Party.

The numbers indicate that Centre lost members at exactly the same pace, however, one reason for which was events in Narva last autumn in connection with which more than 100 members quit the party within a short period of time.

600 members also quit EKRE within the same period of time. As new members are joining at a faster pace than previous members are leaving, it can be assumed that a change in membership is taking place within EKRE's ranks, with members of the former People's Union of Estonia (Eestimaa Rahvaliit) being replaced.

In both the short- and long-term perspective, Isamaa may have the most cause for concern. While its total membership is not decreasing at any more significant of a rate than that of any other party, unlike other parties, it is not attracting many new members either. Since the beginning of 2018, only 72 new members have joined Isamaa. In comparison, the Estonian United Left Party (EÜVP) attracted 92 new members during the same time period.

Last week, a now former member of Isamaa expressed their disappointment in the current potential Centre-Isamaa-EKRE government coalition and called on people to quit the party in protest of such coalition talks.

Altogether 48 people have quit Isamaa since the 3 March elections, 40 of whom abandoned the party over the past week.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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