Pro Patria (Estonian political party)

Pro Patria
Leader Helir-Valdor Seeder
Founded 4 June 2006
Merger of Pro Patria Union and
Res Publica
Headquarters Paldiski mnt 13, Tallinn
Membership (2018) 8,720[1]
Ideology Christian democracy[2]
National conservatism[3]
Political position Centre-right
European affiliation European People's Party
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International
International Democrat Union
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours Blue
12 / 101
European Parliament
1 / 6

Pro Patria (Estonian: Isamaa) is a conservative political party in Estonia.[2] It was founded on 4 June 2006 when two conservative parties, Pro Patria Union and Res Publica Party merged. Up to the 2007 parliamentary elections, the party held 32 seats out of 101 in the Riigikogu (the Estonian parliament) and one of Estonia's six seats in the European Parliament. The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP). It has about 8,500 members. 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.

It held the name Pro Patria and Res Publica Union until 2 June 2018, when the party changed its name to Pro Patria (Estonian: Isamaa, meaning literally Fatherland).[4]



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 marginalized 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 has been used to date.

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


In 2015 parliamentary election, IRL lost 9 seats and managed to keep 14. It joined the Reform Party and Social Democrats to form the government under Taavi Rõivas.[5] 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.[6] On 6 June 2015, he was replaced by Margus Tsahkna.[7]

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.[8] In the following coalition talks Center Party, SDE and IRL formed a new coalition led by Center Party's chairman Jüri Ratas. The new coalition was sworn in on 23 November.[9] In April 2017, Tsahkna announced that he would not seek re-election as chairman.[10] He was followed by Helir-Valdor Seeder on 13 May 2017.[11] On 26 June 2017, Tsahkna and MP Marko Mihkelson announced that they were leaving the party, dropping the amount of IRL MPs to 12.[12]

Electoral results

Parliamentary elections

Election Votes Seats Pos. Government
# % ± pp # ±
2007 98,347 17.9
19 / 101
19 3rd Coalition
2011 118,023 20.5 2.6
23 / 101
4 3rd Coalition (2011–2014)
2015 78,699 13.7 6.8
14 / 101
9 4th Coalition

European Parliament elections

Election Votes Seats Pos.
# % ± pp # ±
2009 48,492 12.2
1 / 6
1 4th
2014 45,765 13.9 1.7
1 / 6
0 3rd



  1. "Äriregistri teabesüsteem" (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  2. 1 2 Nordsieck, Wolfram (2015). "Estonia". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  3. Bakke, Elisabeth (2010), "Central and East European party systems since 1989", Central and Southeast European Politics Since 1989, Cambridge University Press, p. 79, retrieved 17 November 2011
  4. "Party confirms name change to Pro Patria". ERR. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  5. "Otseülekanne: kolme erakonna koalitsioonileping saab allkirjad". Postimees. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  6. "Reinsalu to resign as IRL chairman". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  7. "Tsahkna named IRL chairman, pledges to unite party". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  8. "Government falls as Social Democrats and IRL leave coalition". ERR. 7 November 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  9. "President appoints Jüri Ratas' government". ERR. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  10. "Tsahkna not to seek reelection as chairman of IRL". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  11. "Helir-Valdor Seeder elected chairman of IRL". ERR. 26 June 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  12. "Tsahkna ja Mihkelson lahkuvad IRListTsahkna ja Mihkelson lahkuvad IRList". Postimees. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  13. "IRLi esimeheks valiti Margus Tsahkna". Postimees. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  14. "IRL-i uueks esimeheks sai Helir-Valdor Seeder". ERR. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
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