Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni (Centre) spoke to reporters in Helsinki on 20 September 2019. The Centre Party has witnessed an up-tick in popularity following her ascension to its helm, according to a poll by YLE. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

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THE FINNS PARTY has consolidated its position as the most popular political party in Finland, finds a poll commissioned by YLE.

YLE on Thursday reported that the populist right-wing party has seen its approval rating creep up by 0.3 percentage points since early September, putting it 3.8 percentage points ahead of the National Coalition.

The Finns Party is currently projected to win 20.9 per cent, the National Coalition 17.1 per cent and the Social Democrats 15.6 per cent of the vote, according to the public broadcasting company. The Social Democrats was the party to suffer the biggest losses in September, falling by 1.3 percentage points to 15.6 per cent.

The Centre, meanwhile, has received a much-welcome bump in its popularity following its leadership election in early September. Minister of Economic Affairs Katri Kulmuni, a 32-year-old second-term Member of the Finnish Parliament from Tornio, was elected as the new chairperson of the centrist agrarian party on 7 September.

Although the party saw its popularity climb from 11.6 to 12.8 per cent, it continues to poll at a historically low level.

The Green League and Left Alliance both saw their popularity decline slightly, the former by 0.1 percentage points to 14.5 per cent and the latter by 0.2 percentage points to 7.9 per cent.

Taloustutkimus interviewed a total of 2,466 people for the poll between 9 September and 1 October. All changes in the poll fall within the margin of error.

Jari Pajunen, the managing director at Taloustutkimus, stated on YLE TV1 on Thursday that all major political parties are currently haemorrhaging support to the Finns Party. He also pointed out that it is rare for the most popular party to have such a wide advantage over the competition.

“The Finns Party’s new normal seems to have stabilised around 20 per cent, while the others are clearly behind,” he said.

The Social Democrats, he added, has been losing support especially among working-age people with reasonably high earnings in the capital region and other population centres. The Centre has contrastively won support among pensioners, rural residents and residents of the Oulu region.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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