Estonia - Political parties

Party descriptions and CMP left-right scores
Party Type 92 95 99 03 Average
ER Liberal 12.7 8.6 3.9 8.4
EKe Liberal -15.3 -6.1 0.8 -6.8
IRL Conservative 2 9.2 22.2 24.5 14.5
SDE Social Democratic -10.2 -2.8 -10.2 -1.3 -6.1
ERo Ecologist
ERL Agrarian -12.7 5.4 -3.6

The table shows the periodical scores on left-right position as given in the Comparative Manifesto Project (Volkens, Andrea,, 2010). The scores range from -100 (left) to +100 (right).

Type: Tentative grouping of political parties and alliances based on information provided in the Comparative Manifesto Project and from party descriptions in Europa World Yearbook, Encyclopædia Britannica and in election reports from the European Journal of Political Research and/or Electoral Studies.

ER - Estonian Reform Party - (Eesti Reformierakond)

Founded in 1994 by Siim Kallas, former president of the Bank of Estonia and prime minister from 2002 to 2005. It's a right-liberal party focusing on liberal tax policy and lower taxation.

EKe - Estonian Centre Party - (Eesti Keskerakond)

Social-liberal (left-centre) party established in 1991 on the basis of the Popular Front, which headed the democratic movement in 1988-1991.

IRL - Union of Pro Patria and Res Republica - (Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit)

IRL was founded in 2006 when two conservative parties, Pro Patria Union and Res Publica merged. Although the new party lost some strenght the 2007 elections, the party still managed to join the government that year. In the above table, note that the CMP scores for IRL are for the Union of Pro Patria (Isamaa) only (in 2003: the IERSP-Isamaa-ERSP Coalition).

SDE - Social Democratic Party - (Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond)

Formed in 1990 by Estonian Democratic Labour Party, Estonian Social Democratic Independence Party, Russian Social Democratic Party in Estonia and Estonian Social Democratic Party in Exile. In 1996, it merged with the Estonian Rural Centre Party and took the name "Moderates" (Mõõdukad, M ). Three years later (1998), the Estonian People Party also merged with the party. In 2004, it decided to take back its original name of SDE. The party is positioned on the left side of the centre-right political spectrum and defends EU and NATO membership as well as a social marked economic policy.

ERo - Estonian Greens - (Erakond Eestimaa Rohelised)

Green/ecological party founded in 2006. Won six seats in the 2006 parliament election.

ERL - Peoples' Union - (Eestimaa Rahvaliit)

Centre-left agrarian party founded in 1994 under the name of Estonian Country Peoples' Party (EME). The party gained its current name in 1999. In 2000, it merged with the Estonian Country Union (EML) and Estonian Party of Pensioners and Families (EPPE). In the above table, note that the CMP scores in 1999 are for the EME.


Political Organizations (Estonia). 2009. In Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Bergen. Retrieved October 2009 from

European Journal of Political Research (European Consortium for Political Research), reports on Estonia.

Electoral Studies (Elsevier), reports on Estonia.

Rose, R. and Munroe, N. 2009. Parties and Elections in New European Democracies. Colchester: ECPR Press.

Budge, I.; Klingemann, H.-D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Tanenbaum, E., with Fording, R.C.; Hearl, D.J.; Kim, H.M.; McDonald, M. and Mendez, S. (2001). Mapping Policy Preferences. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments 1945-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klingemann, H.D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Budge, I.; McDonald, M. (2006). Mapping Policy Preferences II. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, the European Union and the OECD, 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Volkens, Andrea; Lacewell, Onawa; Regel, Sven; Schultze, Henrike; Werner, Annika (2010): The Manifesto Data Collection. Manifesto Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR), Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB):