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Yle poll: Opposition parties more popular than government trio

Combined voter support for the government parties has fallen to below 49 percent, according to Yle's latest political barometer. Yle polled electors last month and found rising support for the opposition Social Democrats, which is now nipping at the heels of Juha Sipilä’s Centre Party.

Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

The latest reading of voter approval by national broadcaster Yle found that combined support for the three government parties had fallen to under 49 percent.

The Finns Party suffered the most with voter intentions declining by nearly a full percentage point compared to one month earlier in October.

Roughly half of the party’s post-election support has evaporated, leaving it with an approval rating of just 8.9 percent, compared to 17.7 percent six months ago.

Opposition more popular than government

The collapse of backing for the Finns Party has dragged down support for the governing coalition - opposition parties now enjoy 49.8 percent of voter approval compared to the government’s 48.8 percent.

Support for Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Centre Party has hovered around the 22-percent level, or just above its approval rating during this year’s general election. Yle’s November poll put the party’s backing at 21.6 percent, with the SDP following hard behind at an even 21 percent.

Stubb-gate slows NCP

Backing for the National Coalition party came in at 18.3 percent in November, unchanged from one month earlier in October and almost the same as its support during parliamentary elections in April.

Taloustutkimus research chief Jari Pajunen said that approval for the NCP had been rising slightly during the early weeks of November, but this week at the beginning of December voter approval had sunk to 16 percent.

Last weekend Finance Minister and NCP chair Alexander Stubb admitted to fudging the numbers when he told MPs that 90 percent of expert supported a controversial bill to reform the securities depository system. The actual level of support was just 10 percent.

The furore that erupted over Stubb’s mathematical misadventures appears to have shaken support for the party.

Left Alliance closing in on Finns Party

The poll showed increased support for all of the opposition parties in December, with the Left Alliance making the strongest advance to cross the eight-percent threshold and edge closer to the Finns Party. The two groups are now separated by less than one percentage point, although that number lies well within the poll’s margin of error, 1.6 percent.

The Greens meanwhile are well above their election approval levels with backing of more than 12 percent of voters. Among the smaller parties, the Swedish Peoples’ Party and the Christian Democratic Party both saw a slight increase in popularity to register 4.6 and 3.5 percent respectively.

Voters disclose party preferences

Pollster Taloustutkimus conducted the poll for Yle and interviewed 2,408 respondents. The interviews took place from November 9 to December 1 and the margin of error was 1.6 percentage points on either side.

The poll revealed an increase in the number of respondents willing to disclose their party affiliation – some 67.4 percent.

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