Pekka Haavisto, the chairperson of the Green League, and Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democrats, took part in an election debate held on Thursday by YLE. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS should be at the helm of power after the upcoming parliamentary elections, according to almost a half of Finns.

The Foundation for Municipal Development has reported that 45 per cent of respondents to its survey said they would like to see the opposition party be part of the ruling coalition formed after the elections held in Finland on 14 April 2019.

The Green League, the National Coalition and the Centre were the next most popular choices in the survey, receiving the nod of approval from 35 per cent, 33 per cent and 32 per cent of respondents respectively.

Roughly a quarter of respondents expressed their support for the Left Alliance (25%) and the Swedish People’s Party (23%), while almost a fifth of respondents did so for the Finns Party and the Christian Democrats. The Blue Reform, in turn, was chosen by around one in ten of the 1,112 respondents interviewed by Kantar TNS between 1 and 6 February.

The Finns Party was the only party to register an increase in its popularity in the survey since last summer, according to the Foundation for Municipal Development.

Both the Centre and the National Coalition, by contrast, have seen their popularity decrease for an extended period of time – the former practically since the start of the electoral term and the latter since 2017 and particularly among supporters of the Social Democrats.

The survey results also shed light on what would be the ideal coalition composition from the viewpoints of the supporters of different parties.

Supporters of the Centre, for example, indicated they would like to see a coalition between the Centre, the National Coalition and the Social Democrats. Supporters of the National Coalition indicated that their preferred coalition partners would be the Centre, the Green League and the Swedish People’s Party.

Supporters of the Green League, the Left Alliance and Social Democrats were widely of the opinion that the government should be formed on a green-left agenda. Supporters of the Finns Party, in turn, were reluctant to welcome any other party to the government.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT