According to a poll released Thursday, sitting president Sauli Niinistö would soundly beat his contenders in the first round of the election in January. About 76 percent of respondents in the survey said they would vote for Niinistö, who is running for re-election with backing from a voters’ association.
According to pollster Taloustutkimus who conducted the poll for Yle – Pekka Haavisto of the Green Party – is far behind Niinistö, with the support of 14 percent of respondents.
Approximately 3 percent said they would endorse creationist Laura Huhtasaari, whom the Finns Party named as their presidential candidate last month. The four other candidates garnered support of between 1 and 2 percent each.
Election action just beginning
Nevertheless, Haavisto said he considers his poll performance to be reasonable against the backdrop of a growing interest in the elections among Finns.
"People are visiting events and the election hustle and bustle is gradually beginning, albeit much later than six years ago," said Haavisto, who lost to Niinistö in the second round of the presidential election in 2012.
Meanwhile, Huhtasaari said she respects the voters and their choices, but stressed that the race is just getting started.
"The current president has done many things right. I have been pleased with his foreign policy, where he has reached out to Trump and China's president," she added.
For the poll, Taloustutkimus interviewed 1,470 Finns between the ages of 18 and 79.