Chairpersons Antti Lindtman of the Social Democrats (facing the camera) and Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition attended a plenary session in parliament in Helsinki on 16 November 2023. A recent opinion poll shows a jump in support for the National Coalition and a drop for the Social Democrats, with the former consequently re-claiming the status of the most popular political party in Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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THE NATIONAL COALITION has re-asserted itself as the most popular political party in Finland, indicates the most recent opinion poll commissioned by YLE.

Popular support for the ruling right-wing party has jumped by 2.4 percentage points to 22.6 per cent over the past month, giving the party a 0.3-point advantage over the largest opposition party, the Social Democrats. Support for the Social Democrats fell by 1.2 points to 22.3 per cent.

The Finns Party, meanwhile, continued its slide in the poll, dropping from 17.3 to 17.3 per cent.

Tuomo Turja, the research director at Taloustutkimus, told YLE that the National Coalition is currently winning support from the backers of other ruling parties and people who were unsure about their preferences in the previous poll.

“The National Coalition has won back its core supporters. Many of them were in the sidelines in the previous poll. The Finns Party is increasingly losing support to the National Coalition,” he said to the public broadcasting company on Thursday. “Also the Swedish People’s Party’s decline is partly attributable to the party losing support to the National Coalition.”

The Social Democratic Party, he added, is losing supporters to the sidelines but also to the Green League.

The National Coalition and Social Democrats have jostled for the top berth in the poll since the parliamentary elections organised in April. They were the most popular parties throughout last month as no party was affected significantly by the recent events at eastern border and the ensuing political and public debate.

“There has been a wide parliamentary consensus on measures at the eastern party. No party can distinguish itself from the others by having a somehow different stance [on the issue],” said Turja.

Elsewhere, the Centre and Left Alliance both registered an up-tick of 0.1 points in support, the former rising to 10.5 per cent and the latter to 8.6 per cent. Support for the Green League decreased by 0.3 points to 8.4 per cent. The Christian Democratic Party gained 0.2 points to rise to 3.6 per cent, while the Swedish People’s Party fell from 4.2 to 3.5 per cent and Movement Now from 2.2 to 1.9 per cent.

The Swedish People’s Party is presently polling at the lowest level since Jarnuary 2019, according to YLE. The ruling party lost supporters both to the sidelines and to the National Coalition.

“The whole polling period was pronouncedly flat for the Swedish People’s Party,” summarised Turja.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,535 people for the poll on 11–28 November. Around four-fifths (1,959) of the people were able and willing to disclose which party would receive their vote if the parliamentary elections were held now.

The poll results have a margin of error of 1.8 points.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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