The Green League could overtake the National Coalition as the largest political party on the Helsinki City Council in the municipal elections scheduled to take place on 9 April, 2017, according to a poll commissioned by YLE.
The poll found that support for the National Coalition has dropped from 26.9 to 24.9 per cent among voters in Helsinki, whereas that for the Green League has risen from 22.3 to 25.8 per cent since the previous municipal elections.
Ville Niinistö, the chairperson of the Green League, argued in his blog that his party comrades should see the upcoming elections as an opportunity to make history. “A green capital could show the way towards sustainable development for the entire Finland,” he stated.
His statement prompted a response from Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition and the Minister of Finance. “The elections will determine who gets to decide: people themselves or the Greens,” he tweeted.
Timo Heinonen (NCP), a third-term Member of the Parliament from Loppi, admitted that the poll results give cause for some concern but also expressed his confidence that come election day the National Coalition will reclaim its position as the largest party in Helsinki. “The blue bar will come out on top [in the elections],” he predicted on Twitter.
Niinistö estimated in an interview with Uusi Suomi on Saturday that the municipal elections will be a great test for the Green League.
“The National Coalition, in particular, has made some rather hard attempts to undermine our position, which is an indication that we're fighting against it for the position of the largest party in larger cities,” he stated.
Nationwide support for the Green League declined by more than one percentage point to 11.2 per cent between September and December, according to a recent poll by Alma Media.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi