We, 5.10.2022
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The same cool* EU coterie?

Tuuli Koch
The same cool* EU coterie?
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Illustration: Pm

Pursuant to poll ordered by Postimees, European Parliament elections spell success to Indrek Tarand and Centre Party.

Work at European Parliament will be over for two former Centre Party cadre, one former Reform Party person, one guy from IRL, one soc dem, and one Indrek Tarand – the fresh Estonian edition will be without the «formerlies» but otherwise quite identical.  

As evident by Turu-uuringute AS latest research conducted at initiative of Postimees in run-up to the Sunday elections, all parliamentary parties are in for one seat while Centre Party will rather pocket two; in high likelihood, single candidate Indrek Tarand will again be doing «his thing».

«Looks obvious that every parliamentary party will at least get one seat. Which of these will take two, and whether Indrek Tarand will enter the game again, will be up to the voters who were unable or unwilling to specify their choice during the poll,» commented sociologist Juhan Kivirähk.

The picture resembles a recent Emor poll ordered by Public Broadcasting (ERR): Centre Party favoured by 17 percent, SDE (soc dems) and Reform Party by 15 percent, and IRL by ten percent of voters (the ones who will definitely or probably vote). Single candidate Mr Tarand would get the votes of nine percent. A whopping 27 percent of those intending to vote are unable or unwilling to say who they’ll go for.

According to the poll, voting activity will at least match that of the previous EU elections: 44 percent say they will definitely vote and if a half of them (23 percent) really do, activity should exceed 50 percent.

Youth don’t care

According to Centre Party secretary-general Priit Toobal, no «rating» ever goes to vote, thus the final result bill surface in the initial minutes of Monday. «Lest the poll lull us,» warned Mr Toobal.

While amongst those more advanced in years activity is high (surely or probably, 80 percent will head to ballot boxes), the under-25-olds tend to not bother (mere 40 percent will go or thinks so).

The sociologist Juhan Kivirähk took a look at the basic backgrounds: 55 percent of Russian speaking voters would favour Centre Party candidates (23 percent opt for Edgar Savisaar, 19 percent like Yana Toom). In Ida-Viru County, Centre Party has 42 percent popularity. In South-Estonia (from where hails a current MEP Ivari Padar) soc dems lead the popularity race – 24 percent (Marju Lauristin stands at 12 percent). Mr Tarand is best liked among voters with primary or basic education (20 percent).

The chief difference with 2009 EU elections is the opportunity to vote for the candidates one likes, not parties. And, as the results point out, people like the idea: 73 percent of voters will decide based on a person (rather or mainly so). 17 percent are rather or mostly guided by the name of a party. The party-centred are most abundant with Centre Party (30 percent); with IRL, soc dems, and Reform, the percentage is 20.

The second best

«Still, despite declaring they go for the persons, people’s first and second options remain one party centred. That’s especially marked with Centre Party voters,» noted Mr Kivirähk. As evidenced by the results, in place of Mr Savisaar, Jüri Ratas or Yana Toom would be considered option No 2 by four and three percent of those interviewed, respectively. Even so, Mr Tarand also leads the second option list, by 7 percent. Mr Kivirähk noted that except for Centre Party, first and second options may come from differing lists.

Thus, of voters whose fist option was some Reform candidate, ten percent would go for an IRL member as second option, eight percent for a soc dem, and 14 percent for Indrek Tarand. Of soc dem voters, 16 percent would also consider supporting an IRL candidate, ten percent would opt for a Reformer, and eight would mull Mr Tarand.

In party ranking, the most popular non-parliamentary one would be Conservative People’s Party of Estonia. Personally, their No 1 Martin Helme is in tussle, together with Ivari Padar (both 2 percent) against Mr Savisaar’s super favourite Mihhail Stalnuhhin or the IRL superman Eerik-Niiles Kross (both 1 percent). «But there’s still time and many people will be focussing on the elections only during advance polls or on the Election Day,» said Mr Helme, to comfort himself and others. «Tarand is a natural event: did not do any work at last elections, did not do any work at these elections, did not do any work these past five years. I believe one mandate-full of votes are still out there.»

*) And one question: «Indrek Tarand, how’s it feel?»

«Quite cool – gearing for the final spurt!»