HS: Centre continues slump, Greens take another step back in polls

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) was pictured along with his party comrades entering a meeting of the Parliament’s Grand Committee on 18 October, 2017. The Centre Party has seen its support rating drop by 5.5 percentage points after winning the parliamentary elections of 2015.

The National Coalition has continued to solidify its status as the most supporter political party in Finland - writes helsinkitimes.fi.

Helsingin Sanomat published the results of its latest opinion poll on Saturday, reporting that the party would receive more than a fifth (21.9%) of the ballot if the parliamentary elections were held today.

The Centre Party, on the other hand, has seen its support slump to 15.4 per cent – 5.5 percentage points below its vote share in the parliamentary elections held in 2015.

Jouni Ovaska, the party secretary of the Centre Party, shifts the blame for the prolonged slump to the National Coalition. The Centre’s rural values, he gauged, have been overshadowed by the economic rhetoric of the National Coalition and the criticism levelled at the regional government reform by Jan Vapaavuori (NCP), the Mayor of Helsinki.

“There are forced that are trying to pit cities and rural areas […] against each other,” he stated in an interview with Lännen Media on Saturday .

“We’ve been alarmed by the comments of Jan Vapaavuori. Hopefully, we’ll be able to show and explain him how the establishment of counties would reduce administration considerably in comparison to the current situation.”

The Green League has similarly seen its support ebb away over the past few months. Helsingin Sanomat measured voter support for the second largest opposition party at 16.1 per cent, signalling a drop of 1.4 percentage points from mid-August.

Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, reminded that in spite of the recent drop, support for the party remains at a historically high level.

He also commented on the poll results byestimating that policy makers have been too inclined to shift responsibility for difficult decisions to others and by calling for a more level-headed public debate in Finland.

“It’s crucial to examine the society as a whole and keep the longer term in mind. If your strategy is only to attack others rather than to construct your own, sustainable long-term solutions, the public debate will become a restless theatre play. It gnaws away at the ability of decision makers to make and implement decisions,” he wrote on Facebook.

The Green League’s decline has coincided with the resurgence of the Social Democratic Party, which recorded a slight up-tick in support to 18.1 per cent to consolidate its status as the largest opposition party.

Both the Finns Party and Left Alliance saw their popularity increase slightly: the former is projected to win 9.3 per cent and the latter 8.2 per cent ballot. No notable changes were recorded in voter support for the Swedish People’s Party (3.3%) and Christian Democratic Party (4.4%).

The Blue Reform, in turn, would only receive 1.3 per cent of the vote if the elections were held today, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

A total of 2,416 people were interviewed for the poll between 18 September and 14 October, 2017.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva

Read also other news of Helsinki here.

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