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Finland may usher in first leftist PM in decades

Finland may usher in first leftist PM in decades

Reuters
HELSINKI
Finland may usher in its first leftist prime minister in two decades in a parliamentary election on Sunday, as voters fret over the future of the generous welfare system as the costs of caring for a rapidly ageing population rise.
But if opinion polls are correct, the left-leaning Social Democrats’ ability to govern may be hampered by a surge in support for the nationalist Finns Party, riding a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment sweeping the Nordics.
A survey commissioned by public broadcaster Yle showed the Social Democrats could win top spot with 19 percent of the vote, giving leader Antti Rinne first shot at forming a government.
The Finns are running second with 16.3 percent support, after scoring rapid gains since the start of the year when cases of sexual abuse of minors by foreign men emerged.
Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho, 47, cast his vote near his home in Eira, one of Helsinki’s most expensive neighbourhoods.
“As you probably know we have doubled our support in opinion polls during the past six months,” he said.

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