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Analyst: EU criticism hurting Finns Party in polls

An opinion poll released by Yle last week showed the opposition Finns Party hemorrhaging support to its opposition peer the Centre Party. Jari Pajunen, head researcher at the pollster Taloustutkimus says the Centre Party has managed to more attract low-income workers into its ranks.

Perussuomalaisten eurovaaliehdokkaat kampanjoimassa.
Image: Kimmo Mäntylä / Lehtikuva

Yle’s latest political barometer showed that the Centre Party shot to the head of opinion polls at the expense of the Finns Party, which lost ground among its traditional support base, men under the age of 55.

The Finns Party appears to have lost support among other groups, according to a poll researcher.

“They have lost a little everywhere, but losses have focused particularly on men under the age of 55,” said Jari Pajunen, research head of pollster Taloustutkimus.

Centre attracting low income earners

Since the beginning of the year, the Centre Party, led by the decidely low-profile Juha Sipilä, has attracted low income earners of many different flavours.

"There are lower-ranked white collar workers, blue collar workers and to some extent higher ranking officials,” Pajunen explained.

The nationalist Finns Party launched its European Parliament election campaign Sunday with a high-profile anti-bailout newspaper ad. According to the analyst, the polls show that the party’s anti-EU rhetoric may be wearing thin.

“There must be some significance, because here at home the discussion is on rather concrete issues that touch everyone. EU matters are always a bit more abstract. They have been banging the same drum for some time,” Pajunen added.

The researcher said that the Centre Party could attribute some its heightened popularity to its criticism of the government’s proposed social and health care reform programme.

Yle’s May opinion polls showed the Centre Party bypassing the National Coalition Party become the country’s largest political force with 21.7 percent of voter support.

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