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Fatherland Party
Isamaa Erakond
LeaderUrmas Reinsalu
FoundersTaavi Veskimägi
Tõnis Lukas
Founded4 June 2006; 17 years ago (2006-06-04)
Merger ofPro Patria Union
Res Publica
HeadquartersPaldiski mnt 13, Tallinn
Youth wingResPublica
Membership (2021)Decrease 7,766[1]
Political positionCentre-right to right-wing
European affiliationEuropean People's Party
International affiliationCentrist Democrat International
International Democrat Union
European Parliament groupEuropean People's Party
  •   Blue
  •   Dark blue[a]
10 / 101
140 / 1,717
European Parliament
1 / 7
Party flag
Flag of the Isamaa

Isamaa (lit.'Fatherland') is a Christian-democratic[3][2] and national-conservative political party in Estonia.[4]

It was founded on 4 June 2006 under the name of "Pro Patria and Res Publica Union", by the merger of two conservative parties, Pro Patria Union and Res Publica Party. Up to the 2007 parliamentary elections, the party held 32 seats out of 101 in the Riigikogu and one of Estonia's six seats in the European Parliament. The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP). The merged party consisted of two separate boards and two party leaders, which was replaced by a unified board and leader in May 2007. The party's prime minister candidate was Mart Laar, who became a chairman of the party. In 2018, its name was changed to "Isamaa", meaning literally "Fatherland".[5]

Ideologically, it has been positioned on the centre-right[6] or right-wing[2] on the political spectrum, and it is economically liberal.[2]



Prior to the merger, there was an extreme drop in public support for Res Publica after the government led by Juhan Parts was forced to step down, and Pro Patria had also been relatively marginalised after the fall of their own governing coalition. There was also concern among conservatives about splitting the vote between two parties with largely similar ideologies and being unable to oppose the much more cohesive left wing electorate, which was mostly rallied behind the Centre Party. On 4 April 2006, representatives from the Pro Patria Union and Res Publica decided to merge the two parties, which took place officially on 4 June 2006. Although originally the name For Estonia (Eesti Eest) was considered for the newly formed party, it was rejected, and the provisional name was used until the new name was adopted in 2018.

On 15 November 2006, the parties were officially merged as Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (Erakond Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit).


In the 2007 Estonian parliamentary election, the party won over 18% of the vote and joined coalition with, and led by their former junior coalition partners, the Reform Party. This cooperation was retained up until 2014, when the Social Democratic Party replaced The Fatherland as junior coalition partner.


In the 2015 parliamentary election, IRL lost nine seats and managed to keep 14. It joined the Reform Party and Social Democrats to form the government under Taavi Rõivas.[7] As the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union was the biggest loser in the elections, chairman Urmas Reinsalu announced he would resign as party chairman after the party's congress in June 2015.[8] On 6 June 2015, he was replaced by Margus Tsahkna.[9]

On 7 November 2016, the SDE and IRL announced that they were asking Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas to resign and were planning on negotiating a new majority government.[10] In the following coalition talks Center Party, SDE and IRL formed a new coalition led by the Centre Party's chairman, Jüri Ratas. The new coalition was sworn in on 23 November.[11] In April 2017, Tsahkna announced that he would not seek re-election as chairman.[12] He was followed by Helir-Valdor Seeder on 13 May 2017.[13] On 26 June 2017, Tsahkna and MP Marko Mihkelson announced that they were leaving the party, dropping the amount of IRL MPs to 12.[14]

After the 2019 parliamentary election, Isamaa joined government with Centre Party and Estonian Conservative People's Party. This government collapsed in January 2021, when Jüri Ratas resigned as Prime Minister.[15]

In 2021, tensions over cooperation with EKRE within the party became public and caused split. Dissenters in August 2022, formed Parempoolsed (Right–wingers).[16]

By July 2022, Centre Party was expelled from the governmental positions. As a result, the government, led by Kaja Kallas of Reform Party, briefly governed in minority. After negotiations with the Social Democratic Party and the Fatherland, a new coalition was formed.[17] Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Reinsalu of Isamaa, became Estonia's deputy prime minister.[18]


In the 2023 parliamentary election, Isamaa received 8.21% of the vote and won 8 seats.[19]

In April 2023, the new cabinet of Prime Minister Kallas, was made up of the Reform Party, the centrist Estonia 200 party and the Social Democratic Party. Isamaa became an opposition party.[20]

Starting from August 2023, Isamaa saw its support rocket to unprecedented historic highs.[21][22] These gains in polling were mainly attributed to the party gaining three MPs and several other members defecting from the Centre Party, EKRE being seen as too extreme of an option as an alternative to the government coalition and the success of the newly elected party leader, Urmas Reinsalu, in attracting disgruntled Reform Party voters unhappy with its plans to raise taxes.[23][24][25]

Electoral results[edit]

Parliamentary elections[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/– Government
2007 98,347 17.9 (#3)
19 / 101
Increase 19 Coalition
2011 118,023 20.5 (#3)
23 / 101
Increase 4 Coalition (2011–2014)
Opposition (2014–2015)
2015 78,699 13.7 (#4)
14 / 101
Decrease 9 Coalition
2019 64,239 11.4 (#4)
12 / 101
Decrease 2 Coalition (2019–2021)
Opposition (2021–2022)
Coalition (2022–2023)
2023 50,118 8.21 (#6)
8 / 101
Decrease 4 Opposition

European Parliament elections[edit]

Election Votes % Seats +/–
2009 48,492 12.2 (#4)
1 / 6
Increase 1
2014 45,765 13.9 (#3)
1 / 6
Steady 0
2019 34,189 10.3 (#5)
1 / 7
Steady 0


See also[edit]


  1. ^ As Pro Patria and Res Publica Union


  1. ^ "Äriregistri teabesüsteem" (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d Hyndle-Hussein, Joanna (4 March 2015). "The parliamentary elections in Estonia". Centre for Eastern Studies.
  3. ^ Marju Lauristin; Sten Hansson (2019). "Estonia". In Miloš Gregor; Otto Eibl (eds.). Thirty Years of Political Campaigning in Central and Eastern Europe. Springer International. p. 27. ISBN 978-3-03-027693-5.
  4. ^ Bakke, Elisabeth (2010). "Central and East European party systems since 1989". In Ramet, Sabrina P. (ed.). Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989. Cambridge University Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-139-48750-4.
  5. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 1 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Estonia". Freedom in the World 2016. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019.
  7. ^ "Otseülekanne: kolme erakonna koalitsioonileping saab allkirjad". Postimees. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Reinsalu to resign as IRL chairman". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Tsahkna named IRL chairman, pledges to unite party". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Government falls as Social Democrats and IRL leave coalition". ERR. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  11. ^ "President appoints Jüri Ratas' government". ERR. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Tsahkna not to seek reelection as chairman of IRL". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Helir-Valdor Seeder elected chairman of IRL". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  14. ^ "Tsahkna ja Mihkelson lahkuvad IRListTsahkna ja Mihkelson lahkuvad IRList". Postimees. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Estonian prime minister Juri Ratas resigns amid corruption allegations". euronews. 13 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Lavly Perling sole candidate for Parempoolsed leader". 16 August 2022.
  17. ^ "Estonian parliament confirms PM Kallas to lead new government". Reuters. 15 July 2022.
  18. ^ ERR (20 July 2022). "Reinsalu becomes Estonia's deputy prime minister". ERR.
  19. ^ "Success for liberal parties, and populists lose in Estonian parliamentary elections".
  20. ^ "Estonia's Parliament approves PM Kaja Kallas' 3rd Cabinet". AP NEWS. 12 April 2023.
  21. ^ ERR, ERR | (21 February 2024). "Ratings: Isamaa's support rises further still". ERR. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  22. ^ ERR, Urmet Kook | (16 February 2024). "Kantar Emor ratings: Isamaa support reaches historic high, Center Party's slump continues". ERR. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  23. ^ ERR, ERR | (20 October 2023). "Party ratings expert: The situation is revolutionary". ERR. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  24. ^ ERR, ERR | (16 February 2024). "Ratings special: Jüri Ratas has been a boost to Isamaa". ERR. Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  25. ^ ERR, Tõnis Saarts, political scientist | (26 November 2023). "Tõnis Saarts: The EKRE triumph that never happened". ERR. Retrieved 27 February 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "IRLi esimeheks valiti Margus Tsahkna". Postimees. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  27. ^ "IRL-i uueks esimeheks sai Helir-Valdor Seeder". ERR. 13 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.

External links[edit]