The chairpersons of nine political parties participated in an election debate held in Helsinki on Monday, 8 April, by Alma Media. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

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CHAIRPERSONS Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition and Antti Rinne of the Social Democrats have suggested they are not particularly concerned about the results of the poll published on Monday by Alma Media.

Support for the Social Democrats, the poll found, has fallen by 1.7 percentage points to 19.6 per cent since last February, representing its sub-20 per cent reading since February 2018.

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The National Coalition, meanwhile, has seen its popularity decrease by 1.1 percentage points to 17.0 per cent.

“I’m pleased the Social Democrats is still number one and with a clear advantage over the next party,” Rinne commented during an election debate organised later yesterday by Alma Media. “We’ll see what happens and who becomes the prime minister after the elections.”

Orpo, in turn, suggested the setback is a consequence of the heated public debate about elderly care earlier this year.

“Politics can be a difficult game at times. Sometimes difficult things pop up, like what happened to us at the start of this year,” he said, reminding that the party was polling roughly two percentage points lower than its eventual vote share in the parliamentary elections four years ago. “That [two percentage points] would bring us really close. This may come down to the finest of margins.”

Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the biggest riser in the poll, the Finns Party, stated that he is confident the opposition party will continue on its steep upward trajectory over the last couple of days of campaigning.

“The Finns Party is going up at a rapid pace. I’m definitely confident that we’ll end up at least in the top three come election day,” told Halla-aho.

Pekka Haavisto, the chairperson of the fifth-placed Green League, reminded that the pecking order has yet been set in stone.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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