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President Sauli Niinistö met voters at Hakaniemi Market Square while on the campaign trail in Helsinki on 7 January, 2018.
President Sauli Niinistö met voters at Hakaniemi Market Square while on the campaign trail in Helsinki on 7 January, 2018.

 

President Sauli Niinistö remains a strong favourite to win re-election with less than three weeks of campaigning left before the presidential elections.

YLE on Friday reported that voter support for the incumbent has fallen by eight percentage points over the past month but remains more than two times as high as that for the seven other candidates combined, at 72 per cent.

Jari Pajunen, the managing director of Taloustutkimus, estimated in an interview with the public broadcasting company that support for the incumbent candidate is surprisingly high given that voters tend to revert to their party loyalties as the elections edge closer.

“You’d have to predict based on these results that one round of voting will be enough,” he commented to YLE.

Taloustutkimus interviewed a total of 1,364 people for the opinion poll between 19 December and 3 January. The poll has a margin of error of approximately 1.9 percentage points.

The poll also discovered other changes in the popularity of the presidential candidates. Pekka Haavisto, the candidate of the Green League, has recorded an increase of one percentage point in support to 11 per cent, while Laura Huhtasaari (PS) and Paavo Väyrynen (ind.) have put some distance between themselves and the remaining candidates with support ratings of five and four per cent, respectively.

Tuula Haatainen (SDP) would win three per cent, Matti Vanhanen (Centre) and Merja Kyllönen (Left) each two per cent, and Nils Torvalds (SFP) one per cent of the vote if the elections were held today, according to YLE.

The first round of voting in the presidential elections will take place on 28 January and the second round, if necessary, on 11 February.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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