Estonian parliamentary election, March 2023

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Publication Date 2023
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Information Guide focusing on the legislative election held in Estonia on 5 March 2023.

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The 101 seats of Estonia's national Parliament (Riigikogu) are elected by proportional representation in twelve multi-member constituencies. Political parties are required to pass a nationwide threshold of 5% percent, but if the number of votes cast for an individual candidate exceeds or equals that quota, they can still be elected.

The date of the election was announced by the country's President in November 2022. Nine political parties and 11 independent candidates ran in the election. The electoral campaign focused on the rising cost of living, as well as on the staunch support provided by Estonia to Ukraine in the war against Russia. Pre-electoral polls suggested the growth of the country's far-right EKRE, and potentially complex post-election negotiations to form a stable government.

The election eventually led to a clear victory for incumbent centre-right Reformierakond (Reform Party) of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (31,2%). Ms Kallas also broke the record of most voted individual candidate in an Estonian parliamentary election. EKRE became the main opposition party in Parliament (16,1%), despite it actually decreasing the vote share when compared to the previous election. Keskerakond (Centre Party) also suffered relevant losses, coming third overall (15,3%). The election resulted in centre-right Eesti 200 entering the Parliament for the first time. Analysts suggested the latter could become a further option for Ms Kallas ahead of coalition talks.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Robert Schuman Foundation: European Election Monitor (EEM): Analysis, 21/02/2023: The Reform Party of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, favourite in the Estonian parliamentary elections on 5 March
European University Institute (EUI): News, 23/02/2023: Valijakompass: voting advice application for the Estonian 2023 general election
Electoral Reform Society: News & Comment, 25/02/2023: How do elections work in Estonia?
Europe Elects, 01/03/2023: Estonian Parliamentary Election: Return to Normality (Sort of)
Euronews, 01/03/2023: Your quick and easy guide to Estonia's general election
The Conversation, 03/03/2023: Estonian elections: conquered by Russia for centuries, why this Baltic country is worried about the Ukraine war
RTÉ News, 05/03/2023: Will Estonia's PM Kaja Kallas win re-election?

ERR News: Topics: Elections 2023
EurActiv, 03/03/2023: Estonia faces election amid cost of living crisis
Euronews, 05/03/2023: Estonia election: Soaring inflation and weapon deliveries to Ukraine top voter concerns
RTÉ News, 05/03/2023: Estonian Prime Minister's Reform Party wins general election
TVP World, 05/03/2023: Estonia: parliamentary elections begin to determine country’s pro-Kyiv stance
The Guardian, 05/03/2023: Estonia’s PM, Kaja Kallas, secures election win with pro-Ukraine stance
Le Monde, 06/03/2023: Estonia: Prime Minister Kaja Kallas' center-right party wins general election
Politico, 06/03/2023: Estonia’s incumbent leader Kaja Kallas on course for election win
France24, 06/03/2023: Estonian PM's party beats far right by wide margin to win general election
Associated Press (AP News), 06/03/2023: Party of Estonian PM, strong Ukraine backer, gains big win
Euronews, 06/03/2023: Estonia's centre-right Reform Party comes first in parliamentary elections
Deutsche Welle, 06/03/2023: Estonia: Kaja Kallas set for second term after election win
EurActiv, 06/03/2023: Estonian Election: Liberal triumph

Official Website of the Estonian National Electoral Committee
Estonian Parliament: Introduction and History: Elections of the Riigikogu
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE): ODIHR: Estonia: Parliamentary Elections, 5 March 2023

Wikipedia: 2023 Estonian parliamentary election

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