The SDP has taken a clear lead in Yle's latest monthly poll of voter support. At the same time, the Finns Party and the National Coalition Party (NCP) have taken a dive after numerous scandals about past racist statements made by Finns Party ministers, and one ministerial resignation.
Some 22.8 percent of respondents said they would vote for the SDP if an election were held now, with 19.8 percent saying they would vote for the NCP and 19.2 percent for the Finns Party.
The SDP has increased its support by some two percentage points. The NCP has seen a dip of 2.3 percentage points, while the Finns Party's support has fallen by one percentage point.
Jussi Westinen, research director for pollsters Taloustutkimus, said that government parties' support was probably affected by the timing of the survey.
"There was quite a lot of political turbulence in July, when the government was continually explaining racism incidents," said Westinen.
Women and young people switched
According to the poll, the NCP lost the most support among female voters under the age of 35, while the Finns Party lost support amongst women of all ages. Westinen says that could be because women are repeatedly shown in studies to be more positive about multiculturalism and more likely to condemn racism.
The Finns Party itself, however, has lost less support than the Prime Minister's party, the NCP.
"It looks as though racist writings are not a problem for the major part of Finns Party supporters," observed Westinen.
Westinen says it is typical for the winning party in elections to retain high support, as some voters switch allegiance to the victorious group. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) has not enjoyed that advantage this time round.
Green support switching to SDP
The SDP gained new supporters from the Greens and the Left Alliance, but also from the Swedish People's Party, the NCP and the Finns Party.
Research from Åbo Akademi has shown that a portion of Green and Leftist voters tactically switched their vote to the SDP in the election to try and prevent a right-wing government.
"There has been a lot of uncertainty about whether the former Green and Leftist voters would remain SDP supporters — and so far, they have done," said Westinen.
"In that sense the SDP has retained its position really well. Especially from the Greens, the movement has continued towards the SDP."
The Greens' support of 8 percent continues a long decline from the 2017 peak of 17.8 percent, recorded in an Yle poll.
10:14 graphic edited as the number who offered an opinion was 1,963, not 1,693.
10:26 text edited to specify NCP and Finns Party lost voters under the age of 35.
15:20 text edited to clarify that NCP lost female voters under 35, Finns Party lost female voters of all ages.