Yesterday, Estonia held its 2015 parliamentary election-and it was nothing but bad news for progressive parties in Estonia.
I hoped the Estonian Greens would return to the Rikikogu after losing their seats in 2011, but in fact their vote share fell drastically-from 3.8% to 0.9%. I wonder how this happened, given that in opinion polls there they had been polling 2-4%. The Estonian United Left Party performed even worse, finishing bottom of the poll with 0.1%. In the context of left-wing parties advancing strongly in many other European nations, Estonia has seen the exact opposite, with two new right-wing parties entering the Rikikogu: the Free Party and the Conservative People's Party, with 8 and 7 seats respectively.
The recent expansion of Estonia's economy, as well as the fact it has not been as badly affected by the Great Recession as some other European nations, may well be the main reason why the Estonian Greens/Estonian United Left polled so poorly in this election. A lack of representation of any properly progressive parties in Estonia's Rikikogu could have serious long-term consequences though, particularly with the threat of TTIP looming ever closer to EU citizens.