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Poll: Halonen Retains Over 50% Support

A new opinion poll predicts victory for SDP and Left Alliance candidate Tarja Halonen in the first round of the presidential election.

According to a poll conducted by the commercial TV network MTV3, Halonen will receive 55% of the votes cast. Her nearest rival, the National Coalition candidate Sauli Niinistö, has 19% support.

Support for Centre Party candidate Matti Vanhanen in the poll stood at 17%. Green League candidate Heidi Hautala and True Finns' Timo Soini each had 3%. Christian Democrat candidate Bjarne Kallis and Swedish Peoples' Party candidate Henrik Lax each scored 1%. Support for the independent Arto Lahti was lower.

One-fifth of the 1,200 respondents did not state their voting preference. The poll had a margin of error of three percentage points.

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