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High turnout in advance voting ahead of Finland's general election

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High turnout in advance voting ahead of Finland's general election


Finland goes to the polls on Sunday for a general election which is expected to bring a change of government and gains for right-wing populists.

With the country trying to recover from a deep economic slump, the Centre Party leads the polls – on 24 percent support according to one survey by public broadcaster Yle.

Under its leader, former entrepreneur Juha Sipilä, the party is committed to curbing the public deficit but is less enthusiastic about austerity than the ruling National Coalition Party.

The centre-right party is more willing to implement spending cuts and was given 16.9 percent support in the poll.

Current Prime Minister Alexander Stubb took over as leader last year when his predecessor Jyrki Katainen left to join the European Commission.

With the poor state of the economy the dominant issue, a prominent question is whether the nationalist Finns Party – on 16.7 percent according to the poll – could be included in a coalition government.

That is the aim of its long-standing leader Timo Soini, whose traditionally anti-EU, anti-immigration party has a chance of taking second place.

Turnout in advance voting is said to have been relatively high.

All parties agree the economy needs fixing in Finland, whose mobile phone-making heyday has gone, and whose exports to nearby Russia have suffered due to the Ukraine crisis.

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