The soc dem risk is this: it has been opted to place the regional numbers ones – from Jevgeni Ossinovski to Eiki Nestor – at the end of the 125 member general list. In their stead, lots of names up to now politically unknown have been lifted to the top, like the former Russian language «Aktuaalne kaamera» news anchor Jelena Poverina-Tšernõh, jurist Liisa Oviir, Foundation Song and Dance Celebration chief Aet Maatee and municipal politician Gea Kangilaski.
«Unbelievable daring,» says political scientist Rein Toomla. «This means the soc dems are going for a very large number of seats, some 25 to 30. They gamble that the No 1 and the bottom ten will get in by personal or regional mandates, and compensation mandates will secure five to eight seats extra.»
Mr Toomla explained that the imaginary red line for the large parties passes at 15th to 20th placement in overall list; those above that may feel rather sure of landing in Riigikogu. Thus, the soc dem leaders will only make it to the parliament if, in every districts, they either pocket a personal or district mandate.
According to political scientist Tõnis Saarts, this is unavoidably risky as many of those running have not earlier proven their tally of votes. «Mihkel Raud in No 1 in Tartu district – probably, the soc dems have some advance information that he might there be a success. The party’s secretary-general Indrek Saar, this time, is No 1 in Pärnu County, but we know his main voters to dwell in Lääne-Viru County,» Mr Saarts said, to bring a couple of examples.
According to Emor, the soc dems are currently 3rd in popularity, trailing Centre Party; even so, the forceful and brinkmanship style campaign by leaders may bring the soc dem percentage points down.
Reform Party has come out with a list much more traditional, with two obvious distinctive features. Firstly, it is attempted to bring the scandalised top doers back into government, by awarding them important positions in the general list.
«Definitely, Reform Party is trying to rehabilitate Jürgen Ligi (second place in general list – O. K.), who will probably harvest a good crop of votes in Järva and Viljandi Counties,» analysed Mr Saarts. «By Kristen Michal being placed No 1 in Kristiine, Tallinn, it will probably be attempted to prove that by a nice catch of votes the people have forgiven Mr Michal the [party] financing scandal.»
Unlike the soc dems, the top layers of Reform Party list are not teeming with newcomers. Rather, the intent is to bring party backroom cadre into Riigikogu. As an example of that, the party’s secretary-general Martin Kukk is perched 5th, Kalev Lillo 8th and the prime ministerial office head Liina Kersna 21st. «Probably, the idea is to bring these into the bigger politics and, in a way, to award them for work thus far done,» observed Mr Saarts.