TALLINN - The rating of the opposition Reform Party has kept a steady rise in the past three months and Reform again emerged as the most popular political parry in Estonia in August, it appears from a poll taken by Kantar Emor for BNS and Postimees.
Reform's rating in the August survey was 27.6 percent, up from 25.4 percent in June and 26.4 percent in July. Its rating for August was 0.1 percentage point higher than the rating for May this year, when the rating of the biggest opposition party hit a new high after October 2016.
The Center Party, leading party of the ruling three-party coalition, meanwhile has been declining since June -- from 25.1 percent in June to 23.1 percent in July and to 22.8 percent in August.
The rating of the opposition Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE) was 16.2 percent in June, 15.9 percent in July and 17.2 percent in August. EKRE's rating for August was highest since October 2016.
The Social Democratic Party (SDE), junior member of the government coalition, is enjoying relatively stable voter support with ratings of 14.2 percent in June, 14.8 percent in July and 14.6 percent in August.
The opposition Free Party has seen its rating go through minor ups and downs this summer just like EKRE, being the preference of 8.5 percent of voters in June, of 7.4 percent in July and 9.4 percent in August.
Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL) saw its rating drop below the 5 percent election threshold just like in April. IRL had a rating of 6.6 percent in June, 6.3 percent in July and 3.8 percent in August. The latter marks a new low for IRL since last October.
Greens of Estonia, which temporarily cleared the election threshold in July, again dropped below the barrier. The rating of Greens was 3.2 percent in June, 5.4 percent in July and 3.7 percent in August. Greens have no seats in the current parliament of Estonia.
The combined rating of the three parties of the ruling coalition -- Center, SDE and IRL -- also has kept declining this summer, from 46 percent in June to 44 percent in July and to 41 percent in August.
The answers of the people who listed "no preference" as to party identification were eliminated from the outcome to make it as comparable as possible with the outcome of a parliamentary election held during the survey period. In the August poll the ratio of such answers was 28.6 percent.
Kantar Emor interviewed 1,257 voting-age citizens of ages 18-74 for the survey from August 11 to 17.