Finland's eurosceptic The Finns party gains in poll: YLE

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2015 11:53 AM

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's eurosceptic The Finns party is seen neck-and-neck with the center-right National Coalition party in the race for second place in Sunday's national elections, a poll by public broadcaster YLE showed on Thursday.

As with other surveys in recent months, the poll showed the opposition Centre Party, which has support from both the urban middle class and rural conservatives with eurosceptic tendencies, would win most seats with 24 percent of votes.

The main party in the ruling coalition, the center-right National Coalition, and opposition The Finns would score 16.9 percent and 16.7 percent respectively, with support for The Finns up 2.1 percentage points from YLE's previous poll in March.

Ruling coalition party, the center-left Social Democrats, scored 15.1 percent of the votes.

More than 40 percent of those polled were undecided.

Four smaller parliamentary parties, The Greens, The Left Alliance, Swedish People's Party and Christian Democrats, are seen taking between 3.5 percent and 8.8 percent of votes.

Finland has a tradition of majority coalitions, and the next one is seen as likely to include the Centre Party and two of the three runners-up.

The vote is likely to open up several possible combinations for government, which signals lengthy negotiations as a result.

The Finns, formerly known as True Finns, opted out of government in 2011, but party leader Timo Soini told Reuters last month that he is looking to join the next coalition with calls to end EU bailouts and kick Greece out of the euro.

The poll, conducted for YLE by Taloustutkimus, surveyed about 2,700 Finns. The margin of error for the largest four parties is 1.6 percentage points.

(Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Louise Ireland)