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Poll: Halla-aho most successful party leader

The Finns Party chair scored far higher than any other party leaders, and far better than he did last spring.

Jussi Hall-aho eduskunnassa.
Jussi Halla-aho has led the nationalist Finns Party for just over two years. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Jussi Halla-aho, chair of the nationalist Finns Party, led by a clear margin when Finns were asked which party leader has been most successful in their post. Nearly a quarter of respondents chose Halla-aho when presented with a list of party chairs.

Only Left Alliance chair Li Andersson came anywhere near, selected by 16 percent of respondents. The leaders of the other half-dozen parties in Parliament all scored below 10 percent support.

Last month, Jyväskylä-based pollster Tietoykkönen queried more than 1,000 people for the Uutissuomalainen newspaper group, which published the findings on Saturday.

Nearly one third of respondents were unable to pick an effective party leader when offered a list of the chairs of all parties and groups in the legislature.

Support for Halla-aho, Andersson up since spring

Since a similar poll was carried out in April, Halla-aho's support rose by 10 percentage points, from 14 to 24 percent.

Halla-aho, 48, has led the populist party since mid-2017, when he replaced founder Timo Soini, who left to form a splinter group which has since collapsed. The Finns Party has been in opposition since then, leading public opinion polls for most of this year. In 2012, Halla-aho was convicted of inciting hatred against an ethnic group.

Andersson, 32, has led her party since mid-2016, becoming Education Minister this past summer. Her support in this poll rose from 12 percent last spring to 16 percent in October.

Faring best of the other chairs was former finance minister Petteri Orpo of the opposition National Coalition Party, who garnered eight percent support, up from six percent last spring.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne of the SDP was chosen by just six percent of respondents, down from seven percent in April.

The Centre and Greens have new chairs since then, and the results for the other groups in Parliament were too low to be statistically significant. The USU online survey's margin is estimated to be around three percentage points in either direction.

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