Conservative leads race in Finnish poll

CONSERVATIVE former finance minister Sauli Niinisto held a commanding lead in Finland’s presidential election last night, with 65 per cent of early ballots.

Mr Niinisto had a 30-point lead over his rival, the Greens’ Pekka Haavisto. Surveys had shown Mr Niinisto as a clear front-runner after beating Mr Haavisto – Finland’s first openly gay presidential candidate – and six others in the first round on 22 January, though he failed to avoid a run-off.

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