"Those who don't vote for Ekre will not get rid of the Reform (party)," wrote Ekre boss Martin Helme on Sunday on the online network Facebook. Former Prime Minister Siim Kallas of the Reform Party warned on the same platform of a fragmented outcome: "The more confused and divided the outcome, the more confused the government will be, the weaker the ruling coalition will be."
The election is shaped by the dispute over military aid for Ukraine in the war against the Russian invading troops. Kallas is a staunch supporter of the arms shipments, while Ekre has spoken out against continuing them. Estonia's military aid to Ukraine is currently equivalent to more than one percent of gross domestic product. That's more than any other country in terms of the size of its economy.
Estonia and the other two Baltic States Lithuania and Latvia became both members of the European Union and NATO in 2004. "It's obvious that what's happening in Ukraine is also very important for Estonia," 35-year-old engineer Juhan Ressar told AFP at a polling station in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. Perhaps people "forgot the importance of independence," he continued.
Another important issue in the elections in the Baltic state is the dramatic increase in the cost of living. The inflation rate was 18.6 percent in January.
For the pensioner Pyotr Mahhonin, the Ekre party alone represents "the Estonian people". The 62-year-old accuses the Prime Minister of being "more interested in another country" - meaning Ukraine. Like many Estonians, Mahhonin fears the war could escalate. "We have a big neighbor, Russia, and it's very dangerous. When the war starts, we'll be the country on the front line," he says.
According to the polls, the Center Party, traditionally popular with the Russian-speaking minority, is likely to come third in the elections. The party has backed the government line on Ukraine and Russia, which has deterred some Russian-speaking voters. This could result in a high number of non-voters among members of the minority. Overall, the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia makes up about a quarter of the population.
According to the electoral commission, a good 47 percent of voters have already cast their ballots by post or online. The polling stations close at 8 p.m. (local time, 7 p.m. CET). The official final result is expected for Monday morning.