Poll: Race tightens as Finland’s election day nears

The final Yle poll before election day on Sunday suggests the Finns Party may have seen an increase in support, while the Social Democrats (SDP) and National Coalition (NCP) saw their numbers reduced.

The results suggest that the fight to become the largest party in the next parliament — and therefore get the first chance at forming a government and becoming Prime Minister — remains neck and neck.

Some 19.8 percent of respondents said they would support the National Coalition Party, making them the most popular in the poll. That figure is, however, a drop of one percentage point on the previous Yle poll.

In second spot the Finns Party were at 19.5 percent, an increase of 0.5 of a percentage point on the last poll.

In third spot pollsters estimated support for the Social Democrats at 18.7 percent of the vote, down 1.2 percentage points on last time.

“All three parties are so close that any one of them could be the leader on Sunday,” said Tuomo Turja of polling firm Taloustutkimus, which conducted the poll for Yle. “I would draw attention to the fact that the last week of interviews in this period was the best for the SDP.”

Support for the NCP remained steady throughout the month, according to pollsters, but the best numbers for the Finns Party were recorded at the start of the interview period.

Interviews were conducted over the course of March, with the final voters asked their preference on Tuesday.

Voters choosing the NCP or Finns Party declared themselves surer of their choice than those selecting the SDP: 76 percent of NCP voters were sure of their choice, with 72 percent of Finns Party voters in the poll saying the same, and 67 percent of those going for the SDP.

Of the other parties, the Centre saw the largest increase in support, with a 1.2 percent boost to hit 10.7 percent.

More than 40 percent of voters have already cast their votes in advance voting, which opened mid-way through the interview period for this poll.

Taloustutkimus interviewed 2,533 people between 1 March and 28 March. They were asked which party they would support if the election were held now.

Of those, 1,830 interviewees agreed to give their party preference. The margin of error in the poll is two percentage points in either direction.

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