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Polls: Top four parties close – True Finns either in second or fourth place
Green supporters increasingly likely to vote
With a month to the next Parliamentary elections, the right-of-centre populist True Finns continue to make a strong showing in various opinion polls.
One survey commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat and conducted by TNS Gallup gives the True Finns 18.4 per cent support, putting it in second place, less than two points behind the National Coalition Party (20.7%), and just a tenth of a point ahead of the Centre Party (18.3%), with the Social Democratic Party coming in fourth (17.4%).
Another poll, commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) has the True Finns in fourth place, with 17.2 per cent, behind the National Coalition (20.1%), and the Centre and the SDP (18.1% each).
While continuing to grow, the Helsingin Sanomat Gallup indicates a slightly slower rate of growth in support for the True Finns than in previous months. The party has seen its support increase by much greater leaps in previous polls.
Political scientist Sami Borg of the University of Tampere sees the situation as very even. He says that there is no point in making a big issue out of “one or two decimals”, as the changes in the figures fit easily within the margin of error.
His key observation is that of the four large parties, any one of them could win the election, and that it is no longer a foregone conclusion that the National Coalition Party will come in first.
Changes were small in the results for other parties.
The determination of voters to cast their ballots is growing as Election Day approaches. Among all respondents, 64 per cent indicated that they were certain to vote in the election.
There was an unexpected surge among supporters of the Green League, a party which has traditionally had a difficult time motivating its supporters to actually exercise their right to vote. The Helsingin Sanomat Gallup poll now indicates that 79 per cent of those who support the Greens now consider themselves likely to vote in the April election.
Sami Borg says that the success of the True Finns is also helping the Greens, as the two parties have positioned themselves on opposing sides. The nuclear crisis in Japan could also bring more green-minded voters to the voting booth.
The HS Gallup gives the Greens 8.8 per cent support, while the Left Alliance gets 7.8 per cent, the Swedish People’s Party gets 4.1 per cent, and the Christian Democrats get just 3.5 per cent.
In the YLE poll the Greens get 9 per cent, the Left Alliance gets 7.3 per cent, the Christian Democrats get 4.6 per cent, and the Swedish People’s Party gets 3.8 per cent.