Presidential candidates Alexander Stubb (NCP) and Pekka Haavisto attended an election debate hosted by CMI – Martti Ahtisaari Peace Foundation in Sanomatalo, Helsinki, on Monday, 13 November 2023. Stubb and Haavisto have widened their advantage over the other candidates in the race to succeed President Sauli Niinistö, shows the latest opinion poll commissioned by YLE. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)


ALEXANDER STUBB (NCP) has ousted Pekka Haavisto from the top berth of the presidential poll by YLE.

YLE on Wednesday revealed that Stubb was the choice of 28 per cent of respondents in the poll section representing the first round of voting in the presidential elections, signalling an increase of six percentage points from the previous poll. Haavisto, by contrast, saw his share of the hypothetical vote decrease by three points to 26 per cent.

The two frontrunners simultaneously extended their lead over the other presidential hopefuls, highlighted Jari Pajunen, the research director at Taloustutkimus.

Olli Rehn came in third with a projected vote share of 14 per cent, representing no change from the previous poll.

“When in October you needed 22 per cent to get into the second round, now you need 26 per cent. This means that the threshold for getting into the second round is higher than before,” observed Pajunen.

No major changes were detected outside the two leading candidates. Support for Mika Aaltola declined by a point to nine per cent, while Jussi Halla-aho (PS) and Li Andersson (LA) saw no change in their popularity, the former staying at eight and the latter at seven per cent. Support for Jutta Urpilainen, the presumptive candidate of the Social Democrats, crept up by a point to four per cent.

Aaltola, Haavisto and Rehn are all running as the candidate of a constituency association, despite the latter two’s long-standing ties to the Green League and Centre, respectively.

Stubb was the public favourite also in the poll section representing the second round of voting, winning 55 per cent of the vote in a hypothetical run-off against Haavisto. In October, Haavisto was projected to emerge victorious from the run-off by a two-point margin, with 51 per cent of the vote.

Pajunen said Stubb has won over supporters from several parties, including previously hesitant supporters of the National Coalition. His popularity has almost doubled among supporters of the Social Democrats and risen by a third among supporters of the Finns Party.

Although Haavisto has lost some supporters of the Green League, he is projected to win more than three-quarters of their votes and 45 per cent of votes cast by supporters of the Social Democrats. Urpilainen, by contrast, was the choice of 13 per cent of her own party.

Voters who are not attached to any particular party will have a key role in the elections, according to Pajunen. About 25 per cent of them are currently supporting Haavisto and 20 per cent Stubb.

“There’s 600,000 votes up for grabs there,” said Pajunen.

Taloustutkimus contacted 1,549 people for the poll between 30 October and 9 November. Slightly over 90 per cent of the people were able and willing to reveal which candidate would receive their vote in the first round of the presidential elections.

The results have a margin of error of at most 2.2 points.

The election day for the first round of voting is on Sunday, 28 January 2024. If no candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the vote, a run-off election will be organised between the two highest vote-getters on 11 February 2024.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT