Finnish Nationalists Surge in Poll Amid Fraught Coalition Talks

(Bloomberg) -- The nationalist Finns Party is now Finland’s most popular political movement, according to the first poll published since last month’s parliamentary election, which saw the opposition Social Democrats emerge on top.

The Finns, which finished second in the April 14 vote, are now on 18.7 percent, compared with 16.9 percent for the Social Democrats, according to a poll published on Monday by newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The Social Democrats have also been overtaken by the free-market National Coalition of outgoing Finance Minister Petteri Orpo, which in the poll came second with 17.1 percent. The Center Party of caretaker Prime Minister Juha Sipila was on 12.7 percent.

Finnish Nationalists Surge in Poll Amid Fraught Coalition Talks

The poll numbers add to the pressures that Social Democrat leader Antti Rinne is facing as he seeks to form a viable coalition government. On top of his traditional center-left allies, Rinne also needs at least one of the three big parties to secure a parliamentary majority. The National Coalition is seen as best placed to join the new government, despite fundamental differences in policy.

Read more on the government formation talks

The Kantar TNS polls was based on phone interviews with 1,505 people between April 16 and May 3 and has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

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