Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Minister of Finance Riikka Purra (PS) concluded a press conference outside the premier’s official residence, Kesäranta, in Helsinki on 12 July 2023. Support for both the National Coalition and Finns Party has decreased since mid-July, according to an opinion poll conducted for Helsingin Sanomat. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)


THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC Party has emerged narrowly as the most popular political party in Finland, according to the latest opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday reported that public support for the largest opposition party has jumped by 2.1 percentage points to 21.5 per cent in the past month, leaving it 0.1 points ahead of the National Coalition.

The Social Democratic Party is virtually the only party to have increased its popularity in the past month, accounting for 2.1 points of the 2.2 points worth of gains recorded in the poll.

The party is receiving support from a number of quarters, revealed Sakari Nurmela, the managing director of Kantar Public. “The party is definitely perceived as some kind of a counterforce to the government, and it’s benefiting from that at this moment in the political debate,” he analysed.

The National Coalition and Finns Party, the two largest parties in the ruling right-wing coalition, both saw their popularity decline, the former by 0.6 points to 21.4 per cent and the latter by 0.8 points to 19.0 per cent. The two parties, however, also have the most steadfast supporters, according to the poll.

The National Coalition’s waning popularity is not terribly alarming, viewed Nurmela.

The other changes were more moderate. Support for the Centre decreased by 0.3 points to 9.5 per cent, while the Green League and Left Alliance swapped places as the fifth and sixth most popular parties in the country, with the former gaining 0.1 points to rise to 8.1 per cent and the latter dropping 0.1 points to fall to 8.0 per cent.

The Swedish People’s Party and Christian Democrats, the other two members of the ruling coalition, recorded respective losses of 0.1 points and 0.2 points, falling to 4.4 and 3.7 per cent. Support for Movement Now decreased by 0.1 points to 2.0 per cent.

Kantar Public interviewed 2,460 people for the poll between 17 July and 11 August. The results have a margin of error of +/-2.0 points for the largest parties.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT