The second round of Finland’s presidential election will be a battle between conservatives and liberals, with Finland’s political left unrepresented. YLE election pundit Ville Pernaa says that the next president is likely to be the candidate who best harnesses the working class vote that is now without a left-wing candidate to support. The left’s absence from the second round is unprecedented, with voters left without a straight left-right choice for the first time. ”There is not a pure bourgeois versus socialist configuration,” said Pernaa. “Now the battle is for the working class soul, in that neither Niinistö nor Haavisto is a candidate working class voters can relate to.”
On the evidence of the first round, Niinistö and Haavisto are of the same opinion on European issues, but their ideological worldviews diverge. “Niinistö is bourgeois and more conservative,” said Pernaa. “City-dwellers, liberals, greens and those who swear by tolerance will support Haavisto.”
Pernaa said that he believes that the second round promises a more vigorous debate. He sees Niinistö’s campaign as very cautious so far, and expects a more courageous style in debates with Haavisto before the second round of voting. None of the six eliminated in the first round has endorsed either of the two remaining candidates. Pernaa is following the decisions of those who supported the social democrats in the last parliamentary election.