Poll: Voter turnout in March elections could fall from 2003 level
Little change in party support
Voter enthusiasm in the Parliamentary elections in March is likely to decline from four years ago. According to an opinion poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat and conducted by Suomen Gallup, just 59 per cent of voting-age Finns say that they are certain to cast ballots in the election.
In a similar poll conducted in advance of the previous Parliamentary election in 2003, 63 per cent of voters had said that they were certain to exercise their right to vote.
A four percentage-point decline just barely fits into the margin of error of the survey, but Suomen Gallup says that it is nevertheless likely that the voter turnout is on the decline.
The poll shows that the proportion of those who are "completely sure" that they will vote has gone down, while the percentage of those who are "fairly sure" has increased in four years. The combined "completely sure" and "fairly sure" responses add up to the same amount in both years.
Young eligible voters are the least deermined to go to the polls. Of those aged 18 to 25, slightly more than 30 per cent plan to vote for sure. In the 2003 survey the figure was 43 per cent.
Intention to vote appears to increase with age: in the fresh survey, 73 per cent of those aged 65 or over said that they planned to vote for certain.
In a breakdown of professions, students and manual labourers were the least reliable voters; about 40 per cent of the group plan to vote, and about 15 per cent said that they felt that it is unlikely that they will vote.
In a regional breakdown, the most eager voters live in the Uusimaa region, where nearly 70 per cent said that they were sure to vote. Enthusiasm was lowest in East Finland, where only half of eligible voters say they are certain to cast ballots.
The surest to vote are supporters of the National Coalition Party and the Left Alliance, while the most doubtful are those of the Green League.
Among supporters of the Greens, certainty to vote has declined from 66 per cent in 2003 to 56 per cent this year.
A separate poll showed that there has been little change in overall support for the various political parties since last month. With 24.2 per cent, the Social Democratic Party appears to have slightly increased its lead over the Centre Party, which gets just 23 per cent support.
The Centre Party’s slight rising trend last year appears to have stopped. The opposition National Coalition Party remains in third place at 21.6 per cent.
For the poll on party support, Suomen Gallup interviewed 2,343 Finns from December 26th through January 18th.
For the poll on the likely voter turnout, Suomen Gallup interviewed 1,402 Finns between January 2nd and January 18th.