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Yle parliamentary poll: NCP lead, SDP close second, Finns Party support dips

Yle's first survey in six months of voting intentions for parliamentary elections shows significant swings in support for the main parties.

Party support of june 2021.
Image: Ilkka Kemppinen / Yle

The National Coalition Party (NCP), which topped the poll at last month's municipal elections, is also the most popular party in Parliament, according to the results of Yle's latest voter survey.

With 19.8 percent voter support, the NCP just edged out Prime Minister Sanna Marin's Social Democratic Party (SDP), on 19.6 percent.

The opposition Finns Party was third, with 17.8 percent support.

This latest poll is the first since January this year to survey voter sentiment with regard to parliamentary elections. Since February, all of Yle's polls have asked which party the respondents would vote for in June's municipal elections.

This poll is therefore not directly comparable with Yle's most recent voter support survey, published in June.

However, each party's result in the municipal elections can also have a knock on effect on their support in parliamentary elections, and the municipal election result was still fresh in respondents' minds when they answered the survey.

A larger-than-usual proportion of respondents, just over 70 percent, were willing to state their party position in this latest survey.

Significant changes from previous parliamentary poll

The most recent comparable poll is from January this year, and there have been some significant swings in support for parties since that survey.

At that time, the NCP was back in third place on 16.2 percent, but has since seen its support increase by 3.6 percentage points.

"Support for the NCP has certainly been shown by their good municipal election result, when the party was the clear election winner," Research Director Tuomo Turja of pollster Taloustutkimus told Yle.

The Finns Party, on the other hand, was Finland's most popular political party in January with 21.9 percent voter support, but that is now down 4.1 percentage points to 17.8 percent according to the latest poll.

In the municipal elections, the party gained support, votes and councillors across the country, but they remained in fourth place overall and many supporters of the party had expected an even stronger result. However, the resignation of party chair Jussi Halla-aho last month does not seem to have hugely affected the party's support.

"There was a small decrease in support immediately after the announcement, but it cannot be said that Halla-aho's announcement had a big impact," Turja said.

Compared to the previous parliamentary survey six months ago, the SDP's support has fallen by two percentage points. However, it has retained its place in second position overall and the party is only very slightly behind the NCP.

Centre gain, Greens drop

The Centre Party retained its position in the poll as the fourth most popular party in the country, with 13.5 percent support.

Although this level of support is down on the party's 14.9 percent municipal election result, it is significantly up on the 11.7 percent support the party polled in January and represents the first time since the spring of 2019 that the Centre has gained over 13 percent support in Yle's parliamentary survey.

"The Centre Party interpreted the [municipal] election result as a victory and it has probably inspired those [voters] who have a positive attitude towards the party," Turja said.

Support for the Green Party, which did not perform as well as expected in the municipal elections, is now at 10.4 percent, which is one percentage point lower than in January.

Among the other parties, the Left Alliance received the support of 8 percent of respondents while government coalition partners the Swedish People's Party garnered 4.5 percent. Support for the Christian Democrats was up half a percentage point from January, to 3.3 percent, while Movement Now was on 1.9 percent.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,634 people between 14 June 2021 and 6 July 2021 for the survey. Altogether 1,868 voters revealed their party affiliation. The margin of error was +/- 1.9 percentage points.

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