Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition, had the floor during a question-time debate in the Finnish Parliament on Thursday, 16 December 2021. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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THE NATIONAL COALITION has fastened its grip on its status as the most well supported political party in Finland, indicates a poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

Popular support for the right-wing opposition party crept up by 0.3 percentage points to 21.4 per cent, providing it with an over two-point advantage over the Social Democrats (19.3%). The Social Democrats, in turn, holds a nearly equivalent advantage over the Finns Party (17.5%).

The Social Democrats and Finns Party saw their popularity wane by 0.1 and 0.5 points, respectively.

Reports about Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s (SDP) night out after being told she had come into contact with a coronavirus carrier may affect the popularity of the Social Democrats, gauged Sakari Nurmela, the research director at Kantar TNS. The reports emerged toward the end of the polling period, around 6 December.

“It may put off some people, but it may buoy others. I don’t have any data on this, but I have a hard time believing in the revenge of boomers,” Nurmela commented to Helsingin Sanomat.

Kantar TNS interviewed 2,384 people for the poll between 16 November and 10 December.

Another survey by the daily newspaper indicates that public satisfaction with the measures taken by the prime minister to manage the coronavirus epidemic has decreased. The share of respondents who are satisfied with her handling of the situation has fallen by 10 points, with 15 per cent stating that they are extremely satisfied and 38 per cent that they are fairly satisfied.

MTV, meanwhile, has reported that two-thirds of the public believe the prime minister made a serious mistake by going out despite hearing about her exposure to the virus.

The voting-intention poll forecasts a vote share of 11.9 per cent for the Centre, 9.8 per cent for the Greens, 8.0 per cent for the Left Alliance, 4.5 per cent for the Swedish People’s Party, 3.3 per cent for the Christian Democrats and 2.5 per cent for Movement Now. The biggest change from the previous poll was the 0.7-point drop registered by the Greens.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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