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Yle survey: Centre Party support drops into single digits

The polling period was a relatively tumultuous time for the Centre Party.

The survey queried 2,709 people in Finland, asking respondents which party they would vote for if parliamentary elections were to be held now. Image: Eetu-Mikko Pietarinen / Yle
Yle News

Support among likely voters for the Centre Party has dropped to a new low, according to Yle's most recent political support survey, published on Thursday.

Support for the Centre dropped by two points — to an even nine percent — in November, marking the first time support levels have gone into the single digits.

The polling period was a relatively tumultuous time for the Centre Party, which is one of five parties in Sanna Marin's (SDP) coalition government.

There were reports of internal conflicts on a number of issues, the latest of which was on Wednesday, when the Centre voted to strike down parts of the Nature Conservation Bill as it went to a vote in parliament — even though it had previously approved the bill in committee.

Similarly, at the beginning of November, the Centre disagreed with coalition partners over a proposed law guaranteeing the rights of the Sámi Parliament to decide who is — and who is not — Sámi.

The disagreements do not appear to have increased support for the Centre "in the least," according to Tuomo Turja, research chief at polling firm Taloustutkimus, which carries out Yle's monthly survey.

The dip in support for the Centre made the Green Party Finland's fourth most popular party, with 9.7 percent support.

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Turja said that the Centre lost support among people between the ages of 35-64, particularly women, and that the support went to several different parties.

"The National Coalition Party (NCP) is the biggest beneficiary of the Centre's reduced support," Turja explained, noting that those supporters also went to the Finns Party and the Social Democrats, PM Marin's party.

Otherwise, the opposition Christian Democrats, which is one of Parliament's smaller parties, saw a percentage point uptick in the poll.

However, the NCP led the survey again, with 24 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the centre-right party, a handful of months before April's parliamentary elections.

But the SDP, Prime Minister Marin's party, held onto its second-place spot, seeing an increase of 0.7 percentage points at 18.9 percent support.

"Generally, the government parties usually take a lot of hits, but the SDP's situation looks fairly good as they start campaign preparations," Turja noted.

Meanwhile, support for coalition members the Swedish People's Party stood at 4.6 percent in the survey, while the one-man Movement Now party saw support of 1.6 percent. Support for the Left Alliance held nearly steady at 8.9 percent, which marked an increase of 0.4 percentage points.

At the same time, other parties in Finland received 1.9 percent support, collectively, according to the poll.

The Yle-commissioned survey was conducted by polling firm Taloustutkimus between 7 November and 5 December. It queried 2,709 people in Finland, asking respondents which party they would vote for if parliamentary elections were to be held now. The poll had a maximum margin of error of 1.8 percentage points in either direction.

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