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Touko Aalto (Greens) was congratulated by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in the Finnish Parliament on 19 June, 2017, following his election as the chairperson of the Green League.
Touko Aalto (Greens) was congratulated by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in the Finnish Parliament on 19 June, 2017, following his election as the chairperson of the Green League.

 

The Green League has continued to make gains at the expense of more traditional political parties and emerged as the second largest party in Finland, finds a poll commissioned by YLE.

YLE on Thursday reported that voter support for the opposition party increased by 1.6 percentage points to an all-time high of 17.6 per cent between July and August, allowing the party to overtake both the Centre and Social Democratic Party.

The National Coalition consolidated its position as the largest party in the country by increasing its voter support from 20.4 to 20.8 per cent. The Centre, similarly, recorded a modest increase of 0.6 percentage points in its popularity and is currently 0.3 percentage points behind the Green League.

The biggest losers in the poll were the two left-wing parties. The Social Democratic Party saw its support plunge by 2.6 percentage points to 15.9 per cent and the Left Alliance by 1.7 percentage points to 7.7 per cent.

The Finns Party, in turn, managed to grow its popularity by 0.7 percentage points to 8.8 per cent, while the splinter group that broke away from the populist party in June, the New Alternative Parliamentary Group, more than doubled its support from 0.7 per cent to 1.6 per cent, according to the poll conducted by Taloustutkimus.

The results of the poll are expected to fuel calls for a leadership re-shuffle in both the Centre and Social Democrats.

“We absolutely must also discuss the role of the chairperson and our decisions under these circumstances. We should’ve had those discussions a lot earlier,” Nasima Razmyar (SDP), the Deputy Mayor for Culture and Leisure in Helsinki, commented to Helsingin Sanomat on Thursday.

The Green League, meanwhile, has continued to reap the rewards of a positive cycle that inspired it to its all-time best result in the municipal elections in April and that was sustained by the party conference in June, Jari Pajunen, the managing director of the market research firm, analysed in an interview with YLE. The female-dominated party has according to him been the main beneficiary of the flight of over 50-year-old female voters from the Social Democrats.

Fewer than 60 per cent of the 1,962 people interviewed between 24 July and 15 August were able or willing to answer all three questions included in the poll. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.3 percentage points.

Pajunen gauges that the relatively high share of undecided voters may be attributable to three factors: the break-up of one of the ruling parties, the summer, and the fact that the next parliamentary elections are still over 18 months away.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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