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Latest poll: NCP rises to second, SDP and Finns Party right behind, Centre Party retains lead

Three days away from Election Day, Yle’s latest monthly tracking poll shows the centre-right National Coalition Party now has the second highest rate of voter support, behind the number one Centre Party. The populist Finns Party is close at the NCP's heels, however, and the numbers are so close that even the Social Democrats have a chance at both the second and third positions on Sunday.

Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

With 24 percent of voter support, the Centre Party may be holding onto its number one spot going into Sunday’s parliamentary elections, but the next three parties are neck and neck for the second position. The latest Yle poll indicates that the current runner-up, with 16.9 percent of support, is the National Coalition Party (NCP).

True to form, the Finns Party is enjoying a dramatic final surge. This latest poll pegs their support at 16.7, just two tenths of a percentage point behind their conservative colleagues, and up considerably from their 14.6 percent support rating one month ago.

The latest poll reveals the first signs of Social Democratic Party (SDP) support slowing down, as a lower 15.1 percent of respondents said they would vote for the SDP in late March and early April.  

SDP losing working class support

Market researcher Taloustutkimus carried out the monthly poll for Yle. Its Research Director Jari Pajunen says the SDP’s problem is that it is losing support among its working class base and women.

“Some may be leaving for the Finns Party, and others may be going elsewhere – maybe even the NCP,” he says.

Although the number of ‘undecideds’ was smaller this time around than in Yle’s earlier polls, they are still a large group - enough to tip the election. Only 58.4 percent of respondents knew who they would be voting for in this latest poll, which was wrapped up just days ahead of the April 19 election.

“This means the parties also have great potential. The elections will be decided by the party that is able to activate this group of voters who haven’t been able to make up their mind. At least the second, third and fourth positions will be determined this way,” says Pajunen.

Greens are now the largest of the smallest

Support among Finland’s smallest registered political parties is also changing as the country grows closer to the election deadline. The Greens Party currently commands 8.8 percent of the vote, just a few tenth of a percentage more than the Left Alliance at 8.3. Both the Greens and Lefts have lost a bit of support since the last monthly poll.

The Swedish People’s Party now has the support of 4.6 percent of the voters, slightly more than in previous polls, and the Christian Democrats have lost support in the interim, with only 3.5 percent of the vote in late March-early April.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,667 people from March 23 to April 15 for the poll, and only 58.4 percent of the respondents agreed to reveal their voting preference. The margin of error when it comes to the larger parties’ performance is as much as 1.6 percentage points in either direction.

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