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Poll: SDP holds steady as Finland's most popular party

Yle's monthly political party poll shows continued support for the opposition Social Democrats while government partner NCP held its ground.

Party Support graphic

The opposition Social Democrats retained their top spot in Yle's monthly political party support poll. While the SDP did not gain large numbers of supporters last month, the party held steady at 22.7 percent.

Last month Tuomo Turja, the research director from Taloustutkimus - the firm that carries out Yle's monthly surveys - attributed increases in support for left-leaning parties to controversy surrounding the government’s bill to ease firing in small firms.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Centre Party held its third-place spot in the poll, but it lost just over a percentage point of support compared to the previous month, and stood at 16.5 percent. Sipilä's Centre Party remained the third most popular party last month but lost just over a percentage point of support compared to the previous month, and stood at 16.5 percent in October.

Taloustutkimus CEO Jari Pajunen said the continued support for the SDP in October clearly came from people concerned about employment rights issues.

Earlier this week government as well as employer and employee representatives agreed on the wording of changes to legal protections from summary sackings.

However, the NCP, one of three government parties supporting that bill, did not appear to suffer from the turbulence surrounding the controversial employment law proposal.

The National Coalition Party (NCP), whose support numbers dropped slightly in September, saw an increase of 1.3 percentage point of support last month, bringing the conservative government coalition members to 20.2 percent of support in October.

Greens steady, despite tumult

The opposition Greens have had a somewhat tumultuous time recently finding a replacement for former chair Touko Aalto, who resigned on health grounds last month. After a number of party members declined to run for the post, veteran politician Pekka Haavisto agreed and the party elected him as chair earlier this month.

But, since the party's staffing difficulties became more apparent towards the end of October, they likely did not affect their standing much in last month's poll. Support for the party dipped slightly by 0.3 percentage points, with 11.3 percent of October respondents saying they would vote for the Greens.

Support for the third government party, the right-leaning Blue Reform, remained steady last month at 1.1 percent. Meanwhile the opposition Finns Party, from which the BR split off, saw its support slightly increase by half a percentage point to 9.8 percent.

The monthly poll was commissioned by Yle and carried out by Taloustutkimus between 3 October and 6 November, and queried some 3,433 people. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 1.8 percent.

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