Support for Estonia 200 falls to 2 percent after poster campaign

Kristina Kallas.

PHOTO: Madis Sinivee

Support for Estonia 200, the newly established political party that has consistently remained above the election threshold since fall of 2018, has fallen to 2 percent after the party's poster campaign in central Tallinn, it appears from the results of a survey commissioned by the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.

According to the survey, the most popular parties as of the first half of January are the Reform Party and the Center Party, both with a rating of 27 percent. Falling clearly behind the first two, but still in a firm third place is the Conservative People's Party (EKRE) with 20 percent. Fourth is the Social Democratic Party (SDE) with 10 percent and the last party that would make the election threshold is Pro Patria with 7 percent. Support for Estonia 200, which still exceeded the election threshold in a survey carried out at the beginning of January, has fallen to 2 percent and as of right now, the party would not make it to the parliament.

The survey was launched on Jan. 7, the same day when posters put up by Estonia 200 appeared at the Hobujaama tram stop in Tallinn, calling for Estonians and Russians to stand separately. The posters drew a lot of criticism, while party chair Kristina Kallas said that the aim of the provocative posters was to draw attention to the problem of division in Estonia, which has remained unsolved for 28 years. Therefore, at least 90 percent of the survey period fell within the period the poster action was discussed.

«This is likely the only survey that was carried out immediately during the poster campaign and the discussion that followed it, and based on the results, Estonia 200 lost supporters with the action,» Art Johanson, analyst at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, said. «If we compare these results with our commissioned Turu-uuringute AS online survey, which was carried out mainly ahead of the poster campaign from January 3 to 9, it can be said that Estonia 200 lost support especially among respondents of other nationalities. While in the first survey of the year, 7 percent of non-ethnic Estonians supported Estonia 200, according to the Norstat survey, Estonia 200’s support among that group is now 1 percent,» Johanson said. «It also bears highlighting that while the Center Party was the certain leader and the Reform Party and EKRE were fighting for the second and third place in the first survey of the year, according to the fresh survey, the Reform Party is firmly in the competition for first place,» Johanson added.

Pollster Norstat carried out the survey in question from Jan. 7 to 13 and during that interviewed 1,071 Estonian citizens 18 years old and older. With the purpose of as representative a distribution of the sample as possible, the survey was carried out by way of a combined method – 970 respondents participated in phone interviews, while 101 were interviewed online. In order to ensure the representability of the results, the data of the sample has been deliberated as corresponding to the proportional distribution of voting-age citizens on the basis of primary socio-demographic characteristics.