THE republic of Estonia has just had a General Election – and, as has happened in so many countries across Europe, far-right groups have made gains, though not enough to give them power.

Former MEP Kaja Kallas is set to become the country’s first female prime minister after her centrist opposition party, Reform, came top in the election on Sunday, with 28.8% of the vote, ahead of centre-left prime minister Juri Ratas’s party on 23%.

If Kallas forms the government as expected, she will join Kersti Kaljulaid, Estonia’s first woman president, in office.

The main election surge came from the far-right EKRE, which translates as the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia, which doubled its vote to 17.8%.

The Social Democrats gained 9.8%, while the conservative-right Isamaa won 11.4% of the vote.

They are the most likely parties to team up with Reform to give the country – population 1.3 million – a ruling coalition.

This year sees the centenary of the declaration of Estonian independence, though of course the nation was ruled over by the Soviet Union from 1944 to renewed independence in 1991.

A member state of the EU and Nato since 2004, Estonia is recognised as having one of the most advanced digital societies in the world – electors can vote from anywhere in the world via the internet, and on Sunday about a quarter of the electorate used e-voting.

The Reform and Centre parties have alternated power since 1991, with the former seen as more pro-business and the latter seen as being left-of-centre.

Like Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Kallas, 41, is a lawyer by profession. Her father Siim Kallas was Estonia’s 14th prime minister.