Support for the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) has risen from less than 16 percent in the late summer to nearly 20 percent in Yle's monthly poll. The survey, carried out by pollster Taloustutkimus, suggest that the gap between the SDP and the most popular party, the conservative National Coalition Party (NCP), has shrunk to less than three percentage points.
The NCP has topped the Yle poll since the run-up to municipal elections last March, and its lead has strengthened this autumn. However in the November poll its support shows signs of levelling off. While ticking downward by a statistically-insignificant half a percentage point, the NCP still clearly remains the most popular party.
Orpo favourite as next MP
The Conservatives' backing is now four percentage points higher than it was in the last parliamentary elections in the spring of 2015. That suggests that the NCP's chair, Finance Minister Petteri Orpo, is the advance favourite to take over as prime minister in 2019.
Support for Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Centre Party remained basically unchanged from October at around 17.4. That's up from a low of below 16 percent in the early autumn, but still nearly four percentage points below their result in the 2015 parliamentary election. Within the past year, the NCP has gained an advantage of roughly five points over the Centre, its main government partner. During that time the Conservatives won last spring's municipal elections.
Green support stabilises, Finns up slightly
During the summer, the Greens challenged the SDP for the role of main opposition party, but then slumped as autumn set in. The November survey shows their support stabilising around 14 percent, far ahead of the number-five Finns Party. Its current backing of 8.4 percent is around what the Greens scored in the 2015 parliamentary election. Last spring the Greens notched up a 12.5 percent share.
The populist Finns Party split into two in June, with a splinter group including former chair Timo Soini and his anointed successor Sampo Terho going on to form the Blue Reform party.
The rump Finns Party, under hardliner Jussi Halla-aho, saw its support sink below seven percent in October. Now it has climbed back above eight percent.
The new Blue Reform party attracts just one percent of voters polled, but remains a government partner with five cabinet ministers.
Support for the Left Alliance remains in the doldrums, competing with the SDP and Greens for voters. The small Swedish People's Party dipped again from their October boost, while the Christian Democrats remain steady at around three percent.
Taloustutkimus interviewed nearly 3,000 Finns by telephone in November, with roughly 60 percent of them specifying their party allegiance. The pollster estimates the margin of error at 1.9 percentage points in either direction.