Basic Finns was the most popular party among both men and women, and it was supported by more than a third of the male respondents and about a fifth of the female respondents. The party ranked number one all over Finland and received particularly high opinions from young people in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Its popularity in population-wide opinion polls is currently around 19 percent.
The SDP and the Greens were the second and third most popular parties among the respondents, with 13 percent and the Greens 11 percent. Almost a quarter (24%) of the respondents indicated that they abstain from voting or that they are unable or unwilling to say which party they prefer.
Aino TiihonenA doctoral researcher at the University of Tampere, told Helsingin Sanomat that the popularity of the Basic Finns is unlikely to rise to 28 percent, because this spring possibly the first time voters will be middle-aged.
“I wouldn’t jump to that kind of conclusion,” he said.
Tiihonen, who studied the identification of young people with political parties, reminded that 18–22-year-olds are usually in a situation in life where their values and attitudes are shaped and new ways of thinking are more easily adopted.
“Many at that age are studying and are still traveling from place to place in a way. Political values and attitudes can still change because they have not strengthened their position in society,” he explained.
He added that predicting the future is difficult also because the number of outside voters has increased and voter loyalty in Finland has decreased. “Overall, changes in political tides have become more unpredictable. Individual issues motivate voters more than before.
The most popular party of basic Finns among young people is not particularly surprising – although the extent of its popularity is “interesting and somewhat unusual” – because young people are internationally recognized as an important source of support for populist movements.
Traditionally, the most popular parties among young people have been the Basic Finns, the Greens and the Coalition. “The SDP has typically not been a top party for young people,” Tiihonen said.
According to him, the political values and attitudes of young people vary significantly more along the socio-cultural axis than along the traditional left-to-right axis.
“We’ve known for a couple of years that the climate issue is an issue that mobilizes young people, but it’s also an issue that polarizes young people,” he elaborated, naming immigration as a similar issue.
Joakim VigeliusThe chairman of the fundamental Finnish youth working group interpreted the research results as proof that nationalist ideas are not losing ground in Finland. Another reason for the results, according to him, is that the opposition party represents values that are “simple and easy to digest”.
“If you told a young person that the Finnish tax euro should be used primarily for the benefit of Finns, I believe that many young people would understand that,” he elaborated.
Vigelius also suggested young people to trust their common sense more, because the surrounding world has not yet “corrupted it”. “As an adult, you learn to think differently, and it is not necessarily learning in a positive sense. Humans, as social animals, absorb ideas from their environment.”
Kantar conducted 624 interviews for the survey between January 20 and February 7. The respondents represent the age group that is eligible to vote in this year’s parliamentary elections, but was not eligible to vote in the 2019 elections.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page