The Centre Party’s support drops in Yle’s monthly tracking poll, with pollsters suggesting the party’s support level currently stands at 15.8 percent of voters. That is lower than at any point since Juha Sipilä took over as leader in July 2012, says Taloustutkimus CEO Jari Pajunen.
"Maybe that’s the Centre Party’s hardcore support right now," said Pajunen.
The Social Democrats saw a jump of 1.7 percentage points in their poll numbers this month, a hefty increase but still within the poll’s +-2.3% margin of error. That is not all that surprising, according to Pajunen, as the previous month had seen them poll at 15.6 percent, their worst result since Antti Rinne took over as leader from Jutta Urpilainen.
The National Coalition Party, meanwhile, is doing very well indeed, with support polling at 5.9 percent ahead of the Centre Party. Pajunen attributes this to their success in influencing the government’s policies.
"The NCP has succeeded in in pushing a line in government that speaks to their support base," said Pajunen. "And when the poll numbers go up, then the party gets more supporters."
This divergence in fortunes for the two biggest parties in government could mean the parties start behaving differently, according to Pajunen.
"It won’t calm down the business of government, when the government parties are heading in opposite directions [in the polls]," said Pajunen. "One is steadily sticking to its own policies and the Centre Party might start to panic, that something should be done to change course."
The third government party, Blue Reform, polled at 1.5 percent this month, bringing the government’s total support in this poll to 39 percent—that’s down from 57 percent in the 2015 parliamentary elections.