As you all know by now, Reformierakond, led by Prime Minister Andrus "Hunt Kriimsilm" Ansip won yesterday's parliamentary elections, receiving a prelimary mandate of 31 seats in the Estonian parliament, the Riigikogu, an 11-seat gain from the previous election. Ansip also received the most votes of any candidate in the election.
Polling showed that Keskerakond, the Center Party led by Edgar Savisaar, had been poised for victory, but Savisaar came up in second place last night, with the Keskid scoring a preliminary mandate for 29 seats, a one seat gain.
Polling also showed that Isamaa -Res Publica Liit would perform poorly, but they turned out their base and still won a mandate for 19 seats. Defining their loss from the 2003 elections is difficult because Isamaa and Res Publica were two parties at that point, and Res Publica had won 28 seats in parliament while Isamaa held only four. Either way, they were the largest block in parliament after their merger and have still dominated the agenda over the past two years.
Now they are no longer the largest block, by far. However, their ground game should be commended. They had high visibility here in Tartu. I even saw their Tartu candidate, Tõnis Lukas out parading wearing his IRL scarf. They got out the vote.
Another surprise was the strong showing up the Sotsiaaldemokraatlikud Erakond, or the Social Democrats. Polling showed them with an abysmal 6 percent of the vote, but they won 11 percent of the vote, and won in Hiiumaa and Võrumaa. Now they should have 10 seats in government.
Finally, Rahvaliit turned out its loyal base, performing better than it had been expected to and retained six seats, a loss of seven from its current position. Meanwhile, newcomers the Rohelised (Greens) also won a mandate of six seats, one more than the five Marek Strandberg had hoped for.
Rohelised had been polling high, but I think we all knew their loyalty was soft because they are only a few months old. So rather than seeing their performance as a "loss", I see it as a fairly healthy result for a new party, especially one with a different kind of platform, like the Rohelised. Considering Finland's Green League won 8 percent in the 2003 Eduskunta elections, the Rohelised performance is commendable.