Latest polls on party primaries

...for the Finnish 2012 presidential election, that is. The Centre Party's web magazine, Apila (fi), has been publishing polls on who the most popular presidential candidates are in the major parties.

For the National Coalition Party (fi), the list goes Speaker of Parliament Sauli Niinistö at 55 percent, Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva at four percent, and a slew of people who have no shot in hell at three percent. There's no surprise here; it's generally understood that the Coalition candidacy is Niinistö's if he wants it.

For the Social Democratic Party, the rankings are Erkki Tuomioja MP at 20 percent, former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen at 17 percent, former Left Alliance chair Suvi-Anne Siimes at 11 percent, and Governor of Bank of Finland Erkki Liikanen at eight percent. It should be noted that the respondents were not limited to party supporters. I'd imagine that Tuomioja has a larger lead among Social Democrats than the general public.

It would be interesting to see how a Tuomioja presidential run would pan out. He agrees with President Tarja Halonen about pretty much everything and Halonen enjoys broad popularity. Nevertheless, I suspect Tuomioja isn't nearly as acceptable to center-right voters as Halonen. Lipponen has said he won't run, which leaves the floor open for someone from the Third Way wing of the party to challenge Tuomioja.

Party chairs Eero Heinäluoma and Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen are at four and three percent, respectively. At least Katainen can say he's essentially tied for second.

Now all we need is a third poll to account for the Centre itself. I mean, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen will be in the lead, of course, but who's second?

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