Presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto (Greens) on stage next to his partner, Antonio Flores, and event host Katja Ståhl at the Helsinki House of Culture on Monday, 5 February 2024. Haavisto’s sexual orientation is considered a reason not to vote for him by 40 per cent of supporters of his presidential rival, Alexander Stubb (NCP), reveals a poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

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THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION of Pekka Haavisto (Greens) is considered unbefitting of a president by as many as 40 per cent of people supporting Alexander Stubb (NCP), reports Helsingin Sanomat.

The supporters thereby consider sexual orientation the third most important reason not to vote for the opposing candidate, after different values (51%) and party affiliation (44%).

Supporters of Haavisto perceived Stubb as being too unrelatable and out of touch with ordinary citizens (55%), as having too different values (51%) and as having too unattractive personal characteristics (48%) to vote for. Stubb’s sexual orientation, meanwhile, was deemed a reason not to vote for him by one per cent of the supporters.

Haavisto is in a relation ship with a man, Stubb with a woman.

The respondents were able to select any number of 15 reasons not to vote for the rival candidate in the poll.

Svenska YLE on Friday reported that Haavisto’s partner was regarded as a reason not to vote for him by one-third of respondents to a citizen barometer carried out earlier by the University of Helsinki.

Helsingin Sanomat also asked the respondents to shed light on their reasons for supporting their choice of the two remaining presidential candidates. Supporters of Haavisto and Stubb both identified foreign and security policy experience as the most important reason to vote for their candidate of choice, at respective rates of 76 and 51 per cent.

Both sets of supporters also viewed that their candidate would perform the duties of president well, the share standing at 64 per cent for Haavisto and 46 per cent for Stubb.

The poll was carried out by Verian on 2–4 February. The Finnish market research company collected 1,154 responses for the poll from an online panel.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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