BY MATTI HUUHTANEN, ASSOCIATED PRESS
HELSINKI -- For his supporters, Pekka Haavisto's breakthrough into Finland's presidential runoff defies fears that tolerance is waning in Finland. The gay environmentalist who lives with an Ecuadorean immigrant faces off Sunday against a veteran conservative.
But they have no illusions about Haavisto's chances.
"I like Haavisto. He's softer and is on the side of poor, but he won't win," said Tiinu Wikman, 23, a cosmetologist in Helsinki.
As Finland prepares to elect a new president, Greens candidate Haavisto's sexual orientation is the elephant in the room. It hasn't come up in newspaper editorials or been a major issue in election debates between him and his rival Sauli Niinisto.
Still, analysts expect it to be a decisive factor in the race.