A survey conducted by leading circulation daily Helsingin Sanomat suggests that Greens chair Pekka Haavisto has emerged as the lead candidate to be Finland’s next prime minister after parliamentary elections due in April.
Haavisto managed to force a second round in Finland's 2012 presidential election, but lost to the National Coalition Party candidate Sauli Niinistö. Niinistö later crushed a second challenge from Haavisto and others in the 2018 presidential poll.
Altogether 22 percent of survey respondents said they’d like to see Haavisto take office after next month’s parliamentary elections. The second-most popular candidate for the post was the National Coalition Party’s Petteri Orpo, with 16 percent backing from interviewees.
Next in line in third and fourth position with 15 and 14 percent backing respectively were the Social Democratic Party’s Antti Rinne and the Centre Party’s Juha Sipilä.
In spite of voters’ preferences for the next prime minister, party support polls show that the next premier is likely to come from the Social Democratic Party or the National Coalition Party.
Market research firm Kantar TNS interviewed 1,000 respondents for the HS poll in March and the margin of error was +/- three percentage points.
Meanwhile, in a separate poll by the Lännen Media newspaper consortium, respondents also placed Haavisto ahead of other contenders in the race for the premiership. That survey, which was conducted by pollster Taloustutkimus for the newspaper group, also put the NCP’s Orpo in second place.
Voters want the SDP and Greens in government
Respondents to yet another survey indicated that the opposition parties the SDP and the Greens are favourites to form the backbone of the next government.
This time around, the agricultural lobby-backed paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus commissioned Kantar TNS to sound public opinion on the three parties voters would like to see in government. The pollster questioned just over 1,000 voters on their opinions in mid-March.
Respondents placed the NCP in third place, narrowly ahead of Juha Sipilä’s Centre. Drilling down into the poll data indicated that while the Centre still has strong support in rural areas, it has lost its top ranking among these voters to the SDP.
The Foundation for Municipal Development KAKS also tested voters’ temperature on the issue of which parties they’d like to see in government.
According to that survey, nearly half of respondents said they’d like to see the SDP in government, followed by the Greens with 35 percent backing. Both the NCP and the Centre trailed with just over 30 percent support for forming the next administration.