SDP = Social Democrats, Kesk = Center Party, Kok = Conservatives, Vihr = Greens, Ps = True Finns, Vas = Left, Rkp = Swedish Folk, Kd = Christian Democrats, Future Blues = SIN, Muut = the rest
Voter polls need to be treated with a pinch of salt because many of them have not accurately forecast voting results in elections in recent years, especially when small differences in voting can impact the final result significantly, as in Brexit and in the last US election. However, large movements in voters’ preferences that are noted in polls cannot be ignored.
Now large voter swings have taken place in the polls over the past year and this points to a looming political crisis here in Finland.
A number of important signals are to be seen in the most recent poll as seen in the above graph:
The Center Party has seen a dramatic fall to 16.3% from the last general election of 21.1%, and now ranks third in the polls after the Social Democrats at 20.2%, with the Greens on their heels with 14.2%.
The Conservative Party (Kokoomus) has seen a systematic increase to 21.5% from the general election of 18.1%.
The Social Democrats now stand at 20.2% from 16,5%, which is a huge increase during the last 3 years.
Finally, the Future Blues, the 19 mutineers from the True Finns, who are still sitting in Parliament with 19 seats, which represent 8.5% of the 200 MP’s in Parliament, have registered a mere 1.2% in the latest poll.
The above shows that the present government coalition, made up from the Conservative and Center Parties plus the rather sad Future Blues, have polled together a total of 39% – and that cannot be called a working majority in any sense of the word:
- The fact that the coalition is desperately pushing through 2 huge reforms (Healthcare SOTE and the new Counties) says everything we need to know about democracy.
- The Center Party will be thinking hard about next year’s elections and may want to change their party leader who is clearly responsible for the party’s miserable result.
- The Future Blues are already known to be looking out for new jobs because at least 18 of them will not be re-elected next year.
- The Social Democrats will be thinking hard about the dangerous job of joining a new coalition again with the right-wing Conservatives.
- Finally, the Conservatives are being split on the question of the healthcare reform by several leading lights within their party and this is harming the position of the party leader who appears to be too friendly with the present Center Party PM, Mr. Sipilä, who may be on his way out of politics. In any event, most cynics do not believe for one moment that there is any friendship in politics!