The National Coalition’s Ben Zyskowicz (left) and Petteri Orpo conferred during a question-time debate in the Finnish Parliament on 7 April 2022. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

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VOTER SUPPORT for the National Coalition has jumped by 3.5 percentage points to an all-time high of 26.1 per cent in a security environment rattled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reveals a poll commissioned by YLE.

The approval rating is rare and unusual and reflective of the change in the security environment, analysed Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus.

“When you look at the week-to-week results, the National Coalition’s popularity moved to a higher level in the week that followed the Russian invasion,” he stated to the public broadcasting company. “And it has stayed at around 26 per cent ever since.”

The National Coalition is a long-standing advocate of Finland joining Nato.

“Finns’ sense of security has been shaken, and support for Nato membership has increased. The National Coalition as Finland’s most pro-Nato party is benefiting from this,” estimated Turja.

The National Coalition has an advantage of more than seven percentage points over the Social Democrats. Support for the Social Democrats crept up by 0.5 points to 19.0 per cent, making it the only ruling party to consolidate its standing during the course of March.

The Centre saw its popularity decrease by 1.1 points to 12.3 per cent, Greens by 0.4 points to 8.9 per cent, Left Alliance by 0.7 points to 8.4 per cent and Swedish People’s Party by 0.6 points to 4.2 per cent.

“The Greens and Left Alliance are haemorrhaging supporters to other parties in the red-green realm, presently to the Social Democrats. The polls demonstrate this fluctuation between red-green parties,” told Turja.

The biggest loser of the poll, though, was the Finns Party. Voter support for the populist right-wing opposition party slumped by two points to 13.6 per cent – its lowest level since February 2019.

The beneficiaries include the so-called stay-at-home party, the National Coalition and, to a lesser extent, Now Movement, according to Turja. “The [Finns P]arty’s holding power isn’t in its best ever shape.”

Support for the Christian Democrats slipped by 0.1 points to 3.0 per cent, whereas that for Now Movement crept up by 0.3 points to 2.6 per cent.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,740 people for the poll between 2 March and 5 April. A little over 2,000 of the interviewees revealed which party would receive their vote if the parliamentary elections were organised at the time of the interview.

The results have a margin of error of +/-1.8 points.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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