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Yle poll suggests Niinistö has overwhelming lead ahead of presidential election

Yle's latest poll of presidential election voting intention suggests that incumbent President Sauli Niinistö has a huge lead—and a chance of winning outright in the first round.

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Image: Riiikka Tähtinen / Yle

In Yle's latest poll, some 80 percent of respondents said they would vote for Sauli Niinistö in the first round of the presidential election in January. Any candidate who received more than 50 percent in the first round would be elected president without the need for a second round runoff.

Niinistö's support has risen by four percentage points since the last poll, in October. It now exceeds the 63.6 percent attained by neighbouring head of state Vladimir Putin in Russia's 2012 Presidential election.

Two of his rivals, Nils Torvalds of the Swedish people's Party and Merja Kyllönen of the Left Alliance, polled one percent—less than the margin of error.

Rising above the fray

Matti Vanhanen of the Centre and Tuula Haatainen of the Social Democrats polled two percent, only just exceeding the 1.9 percentage point margin of error.

The Green Party's Pekka Haavisto, who got to the second round in 2012, polled ten percent and Laura Huhtasaari, an anti-immigrant populist running on the Finns Party ticket, polled four percent.

Niinistö has been nominated by a voters' association, in an effort to rise above party politics. He gained the nominations of some 164,000 people, rending the nomination of the National Coalition Party (for whom he ran in 2012) redundant.

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