Finland's Green Party enjoys record high popularity

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-18 06:40:09|Editor: yan
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HELSINKI, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The Finnish Green Party surged to a record high position and for the first time became the second most popular party in Finnish political spectrum, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

It bypassed both the Center Party led by Premier Juha Sipila and the leading opposition party, the Social Democratic Party in a poll commissioned by the national broadcaster Yle.

The conservative National Coalition Party strengthened its number one position and obtained 20.8 percent support. The Greens reached 17.6 percent. The Center was right under the Green Party with 17.3 percent, with a slight increase from the Yle poll in July. The Social Democratic Party declined to 15.9 percent with a drop of 2.6 percentage points.

Analyzing the situation, Jari Pajunen, research director of Taloustutkimus institute that carried out the poll, said on Thursday the Greens are now enjoying a positive spiral. Pajunen could not identify any acute reason.

Both the Centrists and the Social Democrats have shown a long term declining trend, while the Greens have shown a trend upwards. "Ultimately the curves will meet," Pajunen said.

The newly split populist True Finns showed a slight increase and reached 8.8 points, while the secessionist Blue Alternative rose to 1.6 percent.

The polls was based on nearly two thousand phone calls and the error margin was 2.3 percentage points.

The political correspondent of Yle Pekka Kinnunen said the Geens are now challenging old political structures, both the ruling centrists and the opposition social democrats.

In the 2015 general election, the Green Party attained 8.5 percent votes only. Kinnunen noted that while the aim of the Greens to get the premiership amused other parties earlier this year, it now causes serious concern. Touko Aalto, new chairman of the Green Party, is becoming a candidate for premiership in a coalition.

The 2015 voting result still prevails in the parliament, but correspondent Kinnunen believed the political focus is already on the time after the 2019 election.

In the local election in April this year, the conservative National Coalition Party and the Green Party were already challenging each other, and both benefited. In Helsinki, they left the Social Democrats outside the top duel.

Kinnunen said it is crucial for the future whether the Social Democratic leader Antti Rinne will be able to benefit from the wage talks in the upcoming autumn. In 2015, Rinne was able to increase support in the wake of a massive protest against Sipila's austerity policies. But the wave later evaporated.