POPULAR SUPPORT for the National Coalition has come down from its all-time high in opinion polls conducted for YLE.
The Finnish public broadcaster revealed yesterday that support for the right-wing opposition party has fallen by two percentage points to 24.1 per cent over the last month. The drop was expected as most political parties have clarified their position on Nato, reminded Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus.
“The National Coalition’s pro-Nato stance was a factor that elevated its support in the poll in March. It’s possible that the popularity still reflects the party’s pro-Nato stance,” he said to YLE.
The party has succeeded in holding on to its core supporters but lost support from those who in the previous elections voted for the Centre, Finns Party, Swedish People’s Party or Christian Democrats.
“The National Coalition may have got an exceptional amount of extra support from other parties in the previous poll,” said Turja.
The Social Democratic Party held fast to its second place in the poll despite seeing its popularity slipped by 1.1 points to 17.9 per cent. Turja told YLE that the ruling party is losing supporters mostly to the sidelines but to some extent also to the Left Alliance.
The Finns Party and Centre made gains of roughly a point to climb to 14.6 and 13.5 per cent, respectively. While the former is “clearly” winning back its former supporters, the latter saw a boost in popular support following its newly adopted stance on Nato.
“The Centre seems to have had a good week after its decision on Nato,” Turja said, referring to the mandate given to the party’s ministers and leadership to approve the possible membership bid if necessary.
The Left Alliance and Green League, in a rare turn of events, swapped places as the fifth and sixth most popular political parties in Finland, with the former climbing 0.6 points to 9.0 per cent and the latter slipping by 0.1 points to 8.8 per cent.
“It’s far from common for the Left Alliance to overtake the Greens,” said Turja. “If I’m not mistaken, the Left Alliance was slightly more popular than the Greens in October 2014.”
The Swedish People’s Party and Christian Democrats registered modest gains to rise to 4.3 and 3.3 per cent, respectively. Now Movement, in turn, saw its popularity erode by 0.3 points to 2.3 per cent.
Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,657 people for the poll between 7 April and 3 May.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT