Defence Minister slightly ahead in Centre Party leadership race

The Centre Party will choose a new leader between two candidates at its congress on 7th September.

Composite image of Antti Kaikkonen (L) and Katri Kulmuni (R) / Credit: Keskusta, News Now Finland

Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen is slightly ahead of Economic Affairs Minister Katri Kulmuni in the race to be the next leader of the Centre Party.

Uutissuomalainen newspaper asked district heads of the Centre Party and found that eight support Kaikkonen, while five support Kulmuni.

However, seven told the newspaper they had not yet made up their minds.

There seems to be a geographic divide in the support, with Lapland MP Kulmuni getting most of her support from the north, while Uusimaa MP Kaikkonen gets his support from southern district chairmen.

One thing that most of the district bosses agreed on in the Uutissuomalainen story is that there wouldn’t need to be any shuffling of ministerial portfolios among Centre Party MPs depending on who wins the leadership contest.

Current Centre Party chairman – and ex-Prime Minister – Juha Sipilä will be replaced by either Kulmuni or Kaikkonen at a party congress on 7th September.

New political poll shows slight changes

Meanwhile a new political poll in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper shows some shifting support for different parties.

While the Finns Party might still be the single most popular party, they’re down 0.7% at 20% support; while the National Coalition Party (17.4%) and Social Democrats (17.2%) in 2nd and 3rd place both gain 0.7%.

The Greens are down 0.3% in 4th place, and the Centre Party is down 0.1% on 12% in 5th place.

More than 2200 people were questioned for the latest HS survey by Kantar TNS between 29th July and 23rd August. A full 27% of people did not express an opinion.