Poll: Kaljurand has narrow lead over Kallas in Estonia's electoral college

Marina Kaljurand.

PHOTO: Erik Prozes

A fresh survey of electors carried out by Estonia's public broadcaster ERR shows that in the electoral college of the presidential election Marina Kaljurand has a narrow lead over Siim Kallas.

Kaljurand was supported by 69 and Reform Party's Kallas by 68 electors who voiced their preference. They were followed by Center Party's Mailis Reps with 61 votes, while candidate of the Pro Patria and Res Public Union (IRL) Allar Jõks received 58 and candidate of the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) Mart Helme 10 votes. Of the 335 electors, 264 told ERR who they support. The public broadcaster did not get a hold of five electors.

According to political scientist Tonis Saarts the results of the survey show that competition will be very equal, but there are three most likely presidential hopefuls to become the two candidates who will advance to the second round of the electoral college.

«Siim Kallas and Marina Kaljurand have the best chance of [advancing to the second round] -- this has also been shown by other surveys which have been carried out among electors, both by Eesti Ekspress and Postimees,» Saarts said, adding that Reps also has a good chance of advancing to the second round and Joks also cannot be ruled out yet. «The likelihood of Kaljurand advancing to the second round is pretty big, considering that she is also the second choice of many electors, but I cannot make ironclad forecasts,» Saarts told ERR.

At the same time a big number of electors did not want to reveal their preference, so the results are not very trustworthy.

According to Saarts parties will try to make deals with each other before the second round because in the first round they will try to support their own candidate.

ERR carried out the survey on Sept. 14-20. The electors who had previously said they support Eiki Nestor, who was the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDE) and has decided not to run in the electoral college, were asked to name their new preference on Tuesday. Most of them said they would support Kaljurand, but Reps also got many of their votes.

SDE decided on Monday evening they would not nominate Nestor in the electoral college and would instead support the candidacy of Kaljurand, although the board's decision is not binding.