Yle poll: Finns Party support leaps upwards, SDP slide continues

Yle’s monthly tracking poll showed a jump in support for Jussi Halla-aho’s populists.

Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Finland’s populist, anti-immigration party looks to have increased its support substantially in the first months of the SDP-led government.

Yle’s latest poll suggests the Finns Party has a six-point lead over the National Coalition, its nearest challenger.

The Social Democrats, who topped the poll in April’s parliamentary election and clinched the Prime Minister spot, are nine percentage points behind on 13.9 percent support.

The party’s numbers are down 1.7 percentage points compared to Yle’s last monthly poll in October.

PM Antti Rinne has only recorded lower poll ratings in July 2014, just after he took over as party chair. The Green Party is in third spot, making it the most popular government party in this poll.

The Finns Party’s new support appears to be coming from SDP voters, according to pollsters Taloustutkimus.

The party has clear policy differences on climate change, opposing new taxes on fuels and loudly supporting the right of Finns to eat meat in the face of efforts to reduce agricultural impact on the climate.

Finns Party chair Jussi Halla-aho also frequently talks about immigration and migrants. This week he sparked a social media storm by taking on an SDP councillor and taxi driver of Somali origin who claimed to have refused a fare when his passenger racially abused him.

Halla-aho suggested the councillor, Abdirahim 'Husu' Hussein, had broken traffic laws by stopping on the highway.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 3,414 people between 2 October and 5 November, and 2,397 people gave their party allegiance. The poll’s margin of error is +-1.4 percentage points.