Finnish anti-EU party drops in local election: forecast

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 09, 2017 3:15 PM

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland's co-ruling, eurosceptic Finns party is set to get 8.2 percent of the vote in Sunday's municipal elections, showing its popularity has halved from a 2015 general election, a forecast by public broadcaster YLE showed after more than half of the votes were counted.

The forecast showed Finance Minister Petteri Orpo's conservative NCP leading with 20.4 percent, followed by opposition party Social Democrats with 19.2 percent and Prime Minister Juha Sipila's Centre party with 17.6 percent.

The Finns party won 17.7 percent of the vote in a 2015 parliamentary election and 12.3 percent in 2012 local elections.

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The Finns party has in recent years softened its nationalist and anti-EU platform, which helped it enter the three-party government but which also angered some of its core voters.

(Reporting by Tuomas Forsell, editing by Jussi Rosendahl)