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Yle poll: Opposition NCP's lead narrows as PM's party support grows

Voter loyalty is generally strong among those two parties, but that's not the case with the Greens and Centre, a polling researcher says.

Support for the National Coalition Party declined by 2.2 percentage points. Image: Yle

Support for the opposition National Coalition Party dropped slightly to 23.7 percent during June, according to Yle's latest political support survey, published on Thursday.

It has been around a year since Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Social Democrats have had as much support as they did last month, which measured at 19.8 percent, according to Jussi Westinen, research chief at polling firm Taloustutkimus which regularly carries out the surveys.

"The last time [SDP's] support was over 20 percent was in January 2021, so in that way it was a good result for the Social Democrats," Westinen explained.

He interpreted the results as an indication the PM's party has handled recent difficulties well and also that Nato negotiations have also gone positively. Westinen added that the party is likely pleased about increased support from blue collar workers.

Despite the dip in support last month, the opposition NCP remains the country's most popular party. Westinen pointed out that it's normal for a party's support to even out as elections draw closer.

There is still some time left until Finland heads to the polls for the Parliamentary elections next April, however.

The research chief noted that it does not seem like the National Coalition's polling figures were much affected by the scandal surrounding harassment claims made against member Wille Rydman, who resigned from the NCP last month.

Varying loyalty

There is a good deal of voter loyalty among supporters of the NCP, SDP as well as the Swedish People's Party, according to Westinen, a sort of security not seen with the Centre and Greens.

Many people who voted for the Centre Party in the last Parliamentary elections have indicated over the spring that they plan to vote for the NCP next April. But there are even more previous Centre voters who have yet to decide.

"That's the Centre's problem, compared with the NCP and SDP — how can they manage to draw former Centre party supporters?"

Westinen said the Greens particularly face challenges in drawing support, after having lost some to the Left Alliance as well as the SDP, "certainly not least because of [PM] Sanna Marin."

Support in June for the Centre Party stood at around 12 percent, with the Greens at 10 percent and the Left Alliance at just below nine percent.

Meanwhile, support for the Finns Party held steady at just above 15 percent, with Westinen noting that the party has had difficulties in regaining the support levels it had last year.

"What's striking is that their support was practically at 18 percent all of last year, but has now levelled out at around 15 percent," Westinen said.

The Yle commissioned survey, carried out by polling firm Taloustutkimus, queried 2,348 people of voting age during 6 June - 5 July 2022. The margin of error was two percentage points in either direction.

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