As I reported earlier
, the resignation of Matti Vanhanen
as Finland’s PM has opened the door to a female being appointed to the office for a first time, and it is expected that Mari Kiviniemi
would be favourite to succeed him.
However, in a surprise result, according to a poll published in the Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat
today, Jyrki Katainen
, the chairman of the National Coalition (Conservative), is currently the favourite candidate to be Finland's next prime minister after the general elections in April and not Ms Kiviniemi.
The survey, conducted by Taloustutkimus
, asked almost 1,000 citizens on which of chairmen of the three largest parties would be the most suitable to lead Finland after the parliamentary elections: Jyrki Katainen, Jutta Urpilainen
(SDP) and Mari Kiviniemi (Centre).
Other alternatives were not given because the party leaders in modern history has always been prime minister and first-party candidates can only be one of three major parties.
Mr Katainen was the preference of 38% of respondents, while 22% would choose Ms Kiviniemi and 10% favoured Ms Urpilainen.
The margin for error was stated as 2.5 percentage points in either direction, but that is still quite a margin of victory. In the meantime, the Finnish Parliament is to elect its new caretaker PM until next April’s elections.