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Greens and NCP gain ground in post-election poll

Political parties that did well in the April local elections have continued to gain support, suggests Yle's latest poll of voters' political alliances. The only party that lost backing since the election was the Left Alliance.

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One month on from the municipal elections, the ranking of political parties has stayed the same. Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

The Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle's latest poll of close to 3,000 respondents suggests that if the parliamentary elections took place today, the centre-right National Coalition Party (NCP) would win the top spot, with over 21 percent of the vote.

The Social Democrats (SDP) are in second position, with the Centre Party hot at their heels, as the poll's results show just a 0.2 percent difference between the two.

The party enjoying the greatest gains since the election was the Green Party, up by another two percent since its historic local election catch of 12.4 percent.

Pollster Taloustutkimus' research director Tuomo Turja says the survey's results are typical post-election fare – the bandwagon effect, when voters tend to rally around parties that enjoyed election success.

"Those that did well saw their support increase, while those that didn't lost even more ground," he said.

Academics choose camps

Survey data show that the Greens and the NCP both gained followers from the ranks of the highly educated, as they both have an almost equal share of support from this demographics.

The only exception has been the country's most left-leaning major party, the Left Alliance, which received 8.8. percent of the municipal election vote to tie with the populist Finns Party. The Yle poll suggests they have lost more than a percentage point of support since April 9. 

"This could indicate that people who voted for the Left Alliance in the last municipal and parliamentary elections plan to vote for the Greens in the next parliamentary elections," says Turja.

The surge of the environmentalists has also eaten into the SDP's voter base.

"In the two youngest age brackets – the 18-24 year olds and the 25-34 year olds – the Greens are the largest party."

Even so, the workers' rights party remains the clear favourite among the older, pensioner population.

"If people over 50 were the only ones who could vote, the SDP would be the top party," says Turja.

Gov't and opposition tied for support

The other two parties currently serving in the coalition government, the Centre and Finns Party, also saw their support increase, albeit by less than a percentage pointl. Altogether, the government and opposition sides had the support of close to 49 percent support of respondents.

The percentage of respondents willing to divulge their party leanings grew to 66.9 percent in the poll, up from 58 percent earlier in the year. This renewed willingness is one of the reasons why the Finns Party numbers are up, according to Turja.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,921 people for the latest poll, from April 10 to May 9. The margin of error is 1.8 in either direction. The monthly commissioned Yle poll has renewed its focus on potential parliamentary election voter behaviour, after focusing on the local elections from December to April.

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