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PM Marin enters presidential election fray, opinion poll finds

Sanna Marin did not even appear in results of a similar poll carried out by the newspaper in February.

Pääministeri Sanna Marin ja ulkoministeri Pekka Haavisto.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva, Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Finland's next presidential election is still nearly four years off, but a recent poll finds support shifting to a brand new player - the country's current Prime Minister and Social Democrat Sanna Marin, according to newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus.

The poll's results could be taken with a grain of salt, as only about half of the respondents answered the question, however.

The last time MT carried out a similar presidential candidate survey in February, the Greens' Pekka Haavisto, who is currently foreign minister, was the favourite potential presidential candidate, with 18 percent support.

Haavisto was also a favourite for the prime minister's post, according to two different surveys carried out earlier this year.

But according to MT's most recent presidential poll, while still leading the pack, Haavisto only received just over 12 percent of support from respondents.

Meanwhile, in second place, the director of Finland's Bank and longtime Centre Party politician, Olli Rehn, received 11 percent support, according to the survey.

Marin third-most popular in June

PM Marin, who ascended to her position at the end of last year, wasn't even mentioned in February's presidential candidate survey. But in the new poll the SDP premier received support from nearly 10 percent of respondents - which was more than Finns Party chair Jussi Halla-aho's six percent backing. Halla-aho had around nine percent support in February.

Voter approval for Marin's Social Democratic Party grew by more than one percentage-point to 23.2 percent in May, according to an Yle party support poll, which a researcher attributed to satisfaction with how the government has handled the coronavirus crisis.

Helsinki Mayor and National Coalition Party member Jan Vapaavuori received six percent support while Social Democrat MEP Eero Heinäluoma garnered backing from nearly five percent of respondents.

Meanwhile, three percent of respondents said they would vote for Left Alliance education minister Li Andersson as president.

Nearly half of the roughly 1,000 poll participants said they could not say who they thought should ascend to the presidency following Sauli Niinistö's departure in 2024.

The survey was conducted by market research firm Kantar TNS Agri in the middle of June and had a margin of error of three percentage points in either direction.

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