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Halonen Could Face Runoff in Presidential Election

According to a poll commissioned by YLE Television News, incumbent Tarja Halonen, candidate of the Social Democratic and Left Alliance parties, has lost much of her lead in the Presidential race.

Incumbent Tarja Halonen has lost much of her lead in the runup to Sunday's Presidential elections. In a fresh poll commissioned by YLE television news, support for Halonen, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party and the Left Alliance, would get 52 percent of the vote - just over the 50 percent needed to be elected directly in the first round of voting.

However, it is increasingly likely that a runoff will have to be held; the poll showed that 29 percent of voters are undecided.

The poll puts National Coalition Party candidate Sauli Niinistö in second place, with 20 percent support. The Centre Party's Matti Vanhanen has 18 percent. The Green League's Heidi Hautala and the True Finns' Timo Soini have risen in the poll to four percent. The Christian Democrats' Bjarne Kallis, the Swedish People's Party's Henrik Lax, and the independent Arto Lahti would get one percent each.

The poll was conducted by Taloustutkimus this week.

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