Chairpersons Antti Lindtman of the Social Democrats and Annika Saarikko of the Centre Party exchanged views during a plenary session in the Parliament House on Tuesday, 5 September 2023. Lindtman on 1 September took over what remains the most popular political party in the country, despite a surge in support for the National Coalition. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)


THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS and National Coalition are all but neck and neck at the top of the latest opinion poll by YLE.

While the Social Democrats saw its popularity fall by 1.4 percentage points from the previous poll to 21.4 per cent, the National Coalition recorded gains of 1.4 points to 21.2 per cent, closing the gap between the two parties from three to 0.2 points.

“In July, the Social Democrats got a big support boost related to the government’s various difficulties. There’s a bit of a recoil effect in this poll,” Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus, analysed for YLE on Thursday.

The Social Democrats nonetheless continues to poll well above its 19.9-per-cent vote share in the parliamentary elections.

Support for the Finns Party, the second largest party in the right-wing coalition led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP), fell by 0.7 points from the previous poll to 18.5 per cent, adding up to a 2.5-point drop from its summer peak. Turja said to the public broadcaster that the party is struggling especially to hold on to relatively highly educated male voters in Southern Finland and Uusimaa.

The Centre Party saw its popularity increase by 0.8 points to 11.5 per cent, beating its vote share in the elections for the first time, by 0.2 points.

Both the Left Alliance and Green League recorded drops in support, the former falling 0.5 points to 8.0 per cent and the latter 0.3 points to 7.7 per cent. Support for the Swedish People’s Party rose by 0.5 points to 4.4 per cent, while the Christian Democrats stood pat at 4.0 per cent and Movement Now slipped 0.1 points to 1.3 per cent.

“The Greens got a bit of a support boost in June, when it shook up its leadership. In July and August, it seems that it hasn’t continued to make progress,” said Turja.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,459 people for the poll between 2 August and 5 September. Almost three-quarters, or 1,775, of the people were able and willing to reveal which party they would vote for if the elections were held today.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT