Poll: National Coalition Party the largest, SDP gains, True Finns fall back
With less than a week to go before Parliamentary elections, the conservative National Coalition Party remains Finland’s most popular. In what appears to be developing into a close race, the True Finns have fallen from second to fourth place, while the Social Democratic Party has inched past the Centre Party to the number-two spot.
Interviews for the poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat and conducted by TNS Gallup were conducted late last week and early this week.
The National Coalition Party was clearly ahead of the others with 20.2 per cent support, followed by the Social Democrats with 18 per cent, the Centre Party with 17.9 per cent, and the True Finns, which are getting 16.9 per cent.
The 1.5 point decline of the True Finns was the biggest change compared with the previous poll, which gave the party 18.4 per cent support.
Support for the Green League is now at 8.3 per cent, a half-point decline from March, despite the attention brought by events in Japan to one of the Greens' main issues - nuclear energy.
Other recent topics of political debate have been the European Union’s debt crisis and Finnish participation in bailout efforts of the countries that are most directly affected. The issue has caused a sharp split between government and opposition parties.
Early voting, which started on Wednesday last week, concludes today, Tuesday. Advance voting has been more popular than in previous elections. However, the poll suggests that there is no sharp increase in certainty to vote among the public.
Among those of voting age who have not yet voted, 68 per cent say that they are sure to vote in the election. The figure was the same in a poll taken shortly before the parliamentary elections four years ago.
The reliability of the HS Gallup, like that of other polls, is weaker now than in previous Parliamentary elections, and uncertainty is greatest in the numbers of the True Finns – at least four percentage points in either direction.
The reason for the uncertainty is that with the recent sharp increase in support for the True Finns, the final decision that the voters make on Election Day could easily change.
In addition to their party preference, respondents to the poll were also asked about the certainty of their choice. Of all of those who have not yet voted, 32 per cent said that they might reconsider.
Supporters of the Green League were the most uncertain, with 48 per cent saying that they might vote for another party in the end.
Supporters of the Social Democrats and the Centre Party were found to be the most certain of their choice.
Previously in HS International Edition:
MTV3 poll shows slight decline in popularity of True Finns (6.4.2011)
Polls: Top four parties close – True Finns either in second or fourth place (18.3.2011)
Poll: True Finns edge their way to number two spot (17.3.2011)