The Green League has held on to its status as the second most popular political party in Finland, finds a poll by Helsingin Sanomat.
More than a sixth (17.5%) of respondents to the poll revealed that they would cast their vote for the opposition party if the parliamentary elections were held today, signalling an increase of 3.2 percentage points from the previous poll in May.
The increase would be equivalent to roughly 80,000 new supporters if the number of people who turn up to ballot boxes is presumed to have stayed unchanged at 2.9 million, the newspaper highlights.
The National Coalition remains the most common choice among voters although its share of the hypothetical vote slipped by half a percentage point to 20.7 per cent.
Both the Centre and Social Democrats trail the Green League by only 0.2 percentage points after the former halted its over six-month slide by recording a 0.9 percentage point increase in voter support and the latter saw its popularity plummet by 2.3 percentage points from the previous poll by Helsingin Sanomat.
The newspaper also points out that support for the ruling three-party coalition has slumped to a historic low of 39.7 per cent, with no more than 1.7 per cent of respondents indicating their willingness to vote for the third member of the ruling coalition, the New Alternative, which yesterday officially changed its name to Blue Reform Parliamentary Group.
Over 2,600 people were interviewed for the poll between 17 July and 18 August by TNS Gallup.
The increase in voter support for the Green League has coincided with a decrease in support for the Social Democratic Party. Sakari Nurmela, a director at TNS Gallup, is nevertheless unconvinced that the increase is solely attributable to voters re-considering their political allegiances.
“The Green League is seen in a very positive light both on the right and on the left,” he states to Helsingin Sanomat.
The Green League, he adds, has benefited not only from a decrease in class-conscious voting but also from the fact that it is not burdened by ties to powerful interest groups or a fixed position in the political left-to-right axis.
“The left-to-right axis is not as important for this group of voters. What they’re looking for are matching values as well as actions, solutions and good ideas. I believe this is the kind of group that’s behind the support for the Greens,” analyses Nurmela.
The Green League emerged as the second most popular party in the country also in a poll by YLE between July and August.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva