The first round of the presidential election in Finland was held on Sunday. The Ministry of the Interior is reporting the following scores:
Sauli Niinistö, National Coalition Party (KOK) – 37.0
Pekka Haavisto, Green League (VIHR) – 18.8
Paavo Väyrynen, Centre Party (KESK) – 17.5
Timo Soini, Finns Party – 9.4
Paavo Lipponen, Social Democratic Party (SDP) – 6.7
Paavo Arhinmäki, Left Alliance – 5.5
Eva Biaudet, Swedish People’s Party (SFP) – 2.7
Sari Essayah, Christian Democrats (KD) – 2.5
So, there is a potentially interesting second round. The long-time poll leader, Sauli Niinistö, of the conservatives was well ahead, but slightly down on some of his previous poll figures. The Green candidate beat the KESK party candidate and qualified for the second round. So, even though the two remaining candidates represent government parties, there is the potential for a left-right split. Moreover, if for strategic rather than ideological reasons the main opposition party, KESK, decides to support the Greens rather than KOK, then the result could actually be quite close. That said, the polls have been showing a win for Niinistö for months now.
I wonder how many Green candidates have ever qualified for the second ballot of a presidential election?
The second round will be held on 5 February.