According to a public opinion survey commissioned by daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) and conducted by Turu-uuringute AS, summer has not done much to change the preferences of voters falling into two groups regarding who they believe would be best suited to leading the Estonian government — Centre Party chairman and incumbent prime minister Jüri Ratas has the support of 32 and Reform Party chairwoman Kaja Kallas 30 percent of respondents.
The difference of just a couple of percent has remained steady since the latest previous poll in June, EPL writes (link in Estonian) regarding the results of the August survey. At the time, Ratas and Kallas polled at 29 and 27 percent, respectively.
While Ratas was struggling with decreased support among Estonians ahead of this summer, he has since nearly caught up to Kallas, with 31 and 34 percent support, respectively, up from 25 and 32.
35 percent of voters of other ethnic backgrounds supported Ratas this month, down from 44 percent in May and 46 percent in June. Kallas' support among Russian-speaking voters, meanwhile, stood unchanged since June at around 10 percent.
"If you trace in the results of the survey where exactly Ratas' support among voters who are speakers of another language has suffered, the data points at the Centre Party's crucial stronghold of Tallinn," the paper noted.
In February, 43 percent of Tallinn residents favored Ratas as their prime minister of choice; this support had dropped to 32 percent by August.
Commenting on Ratas' loss of support in the capital over the summer, Turu-uuringute AS survey director and sociologist Juhan Kivirähk noted that despite the drop in support for Ratas, other candidates for prime minister have not gained any additional ground among non-Estonian voters.
Editor: Aili Vahtla