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Greens get support bump while other parties stall

Finland's opposition party the Greens saw increased support of 2.6 percentage points in November - more than any other party.

Party support
Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka

Many pundits are attributing the Greens bump in support seen in Yle's November party support poll to the election of Pekka Haavisto as party chair at the beginning of last month.

The party had been suffering for months in polls before former leader Touko Aalto took extended sick leave and later officially resigned from the post on medical grounds at the end of October. Aalto had come under scrutiny for his antics at a Stockholm nightclub back in August.

The Greens seemed to be having a difficult time finding someone who wanted to lead the party, but after veteran politician Haavisto announced his candidacy he unanimously was elected to the post on 3 November. The survey, conducted by polling firm Taloustutkimus, was carried out from 12 November through 4 December.

Government parties languish

Many other parties did not fare as well as the Greens, however.

One of three government parties, the conservative National Coalition Party, saw a 1.1 percentage-point drop in support last month compared to October.

Meanwhile backing for Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Centre Party remained mostly steady at 17 percent, inching down half-a-percentage-point from last month. The third government party, the Blue Reform, saw a 0.4 percentage-point increase in voter approval..

Mixed results for opposition

The Social Democrats saw continued uneven approval last month and lost 1.2 percentage points, but remains Finland's most popular party, enjoying 21.5 percent of support according to the poll.

With 8.1 percent voter backing, the nationalist Finns Party saw the biggest drop compared to other parties, dropping 1.7 percentage points in November.

With the exception of the Greens, the changes in support for all of the other parties in the poll were well within the +/-2 percentage-point margin of error

Some 2,937 people between the ages of 18-79 took part in the survey. However, more than one thousand of the respondents told the pollster that they did not want to reveal their opinions about the parties, perhaps an indication that there are a good number of undecided voters in advance of parliamentary elections due in mid-April.

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