Savisaar scandal has no significant impact on party's rating

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Photo: Scanpix / kollaaž Katri Karing

The bribery scandal in which chairman of the Estonian Center Party and Mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar is a suspect had no major impact on the rating of the Center Party, it appears from a fresh survey commissioned by the public broadcaster ERR.

If parliamentary elections were held tomorrow 27 percent of voters would vote for the opposition Center Party, the outcome of the survey by Turu-uuringute AS shows. Despite a two percentage point drop in its rating, Center remains the most popular political party in Estonia according to the poll.

Also the ruling coalition's senior member Reform Party saw its rating decline by two points compared with September, to 19 percent.

The junior coalition member Social Democratic Party (SDE) and the opposition Free Party were in a tie for places three and four with ratings of 14 percent each. The rating of SDE dropped one point and the rating of the Free Party moved up three points over the month.

The biggest rating increase was registered by the opposition Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE), which boosted its score from six percent to 10 percent and for the first time went past the ruling coalition's third member Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL), which was off one point at 8 percent.

It also appears from the survey that the opposition has emerged as a clear winner when it comes to the balance of forces between the government and the opposition, with the opposition backed by 15 percent and the government parties by 41 percent of potential voters. In September the two camps were running neck and neck with the government parties commanding 45 percent and the opposition 46 percent of votes.

For the survey commissioned by ERR, Turu-uuringute AS interviewed one thousand people in their homes from Oct. 6 to 20. The answers of the people who listed "no preference" as to party identification were eliminated from the outcome.