teisipäev, veebruar 20, 2007

The Next Riigikogu

The Estonian parliamentary elections are in 12 days and I have no idea what the next Riigikogu is going to look like. Our only clue is a TNS Emor poll from Feb. 12 that shows Keskerakond leading Reformierakond by 2 percentage points. That poll was conducted in mid January, and no margin of error was provided.

Still, despite this virtual tie, I believe that many Estonians think that Edgar Savisaar's Keskid will triumph on March 4. I chalk this up to two things: 1) Estonian pessimism; 2) Savikas' performance in the 2005 municipal elections.

However, there are some major changes afoot. One of them is that Eesti Rahvaliit is, by all accounts, not going to be in the next Riigikogu. The second is that the Rohelised are polling pretty high for a new party. We'll see how much their support erodes on election day. Personally, I don't think they're getting 11 percent of the vote.

I detect among acquaintances some disappointment with Prime Minister Andrus Ansip. Nobody is that enthused about him. But just because they don't like Andrus, it doesn't mean that they don't equally despise Edgar. That leads me to think that Reform's discontents will vote for other center-right parties, like Isamaa-Res Publica Liit or the Sotsid.

I also think that if Reform can tie the Keskid, the next coalition government will actually be Reformierakond, IRL, and Rohelised. I don't know if Ansip will survive as PM, but expect to see Strandberg as minister of the environment, and perhaps Mart Laar as foreign minister. That's my prediction for now, although it could change with further information. I have a hard time envisioning a Savisaar-led government, but it would probably include Reform as well, because they want to keep his hands tied, even if they're not running the show.

5 kommentaari:

AR ütles ...

The error margin of TNS Emor's panel is between 3-4 percent.

Estonian pre-election polls tend not to show the outcome. In particular Rahvaliit is famous of getting much more than the polls show. The reason being that many of their voters are last-minute deciders or swingers (had RL, then decided for someone else, then last minute - back to basics).

Also you have to notice that the parties with smaller election budgets start their campaigns later. So the influence has a more last-minute character. RL has just started both in TV and newspapers and to my surprise Villu Reiljan is the front cover guy.

The Rohelised have a good chance to get in, but hardly they exceed the entry margin, there by getting some 5-7 places in the Parliament. However your proposal of Ref+IRL+Rohe is probable as Rohelised is a right-wing party - quite untypical for greens usually known as leftists.

Some see the result (opposition as Kesk+RL+SDE eg left and left populist parties) as a basis for an antagonist conflict, but this sounds like good news only.

Opposition will press the right-wing parties more to the center and hopefully this sort of government will have a more coherent policy pattern. The current government is dead-locked into agreement that have lead to stagnation.

As to Ansip - the turmoil around the ton of bronze and more importantly no alternative topics on the agenda of Ansip / Reform is the major influencer. What I see is that the campaign of Reform is quite unprofessional.

The budget does not seem to be small but the message, implementation in ads and commercials, innovativeness is really subpar. They should fire both their ad agency and their campaign manager.

Toivo ütles ...

the surveys of Emor are not so trustworthy. there is this polling company called Turu-uuringute AS that usually publishes some poll a month before the election day (I guess it is coming in the end on Feb for this year election) and their reality\forecast ratio is pretty high.

Flasher T ütles ...

That leads me to think that Reform's discontents will vote for other center-right parties, like Isamaa-Res Publica Liit or the Sotsid.

Not untrue, but damn... the Social Democrat, trade-unionist party being perceived as center-right. Such is the state of political diversity in Estonia.

lounamaa ütles ...

RL has done a good job laying low after the consecutive beatings they took in connection with the presidential elections and the land exchange scandal. As a result, the press tends to take it a bit easier on them now and the voters (who have been blessed with very short attention spans) may again consider them to be the champions of Estonia's rural population.

Giustino ütles ...

Not untrue, but damn... the Social Democrat, trade-unionist party being perceived as center-right. Such is the state of political diversity in Estonia.

"Center-Right" might be a bad description. They are more like a party that [i]wouldn't[/i] sign an agreement with United Russia. Take your pick.

Honestly, I'd prefer the Sotsid because they are less into these "sense" resolutions - ie. proclaiming the Estonian 20th Waffen SS to be heroes, etc. I mean, what's the point? The Riigikogu should leave that stuff to the historians. I guess that, since Laar actually is a historian, the different roles occasionally flow into one.