• Left Alliance Took Victory in Finnish Parliamentary Elections

  • Jukka Pietiläinen | 18 Apr 19 | Posted under: Finland , Elections
  • Left Alliance won in Finnish parliamentary elections for the first time since 1995. Social Democratic Party won and became the largest party in parliament but also right-wing populist The Finns party preserved its former support and became second. Finnish parliament is now more left-wing and green, but also more split than before.

    The 14 April parliamentary elections, Left Alliance, which also gained votes in the 2014 European elections and 2017 local elections, got 8,2% of votes and 16 (among 200) MPs.

    Left Alliance gained over 40 000 votes more than in 2015 national elections. The party chairperson Li Andersson was the most popular female candidate. She got 24 404 votes in Southwestern Finland district. Therefore, in whole Finland she became second only after The Finns party chairperson Jussi Halla-aho who got 30 527 votes in Helsinki. Among Left Alliance' 16 MPs seven are newly elected and nine are women. Especially young women whose campaign was focused on inequality, climate change and environment as well as support for migrants got good results. In general, the number of women in parliament is likely to be 93 which is highest figure in Finnish history.

    For the Centre party which has headed the government since 2015, the elections gave the worst result since 1917. The prime minister Juha Sipilä, the most popular candidate in 2015, lost almost half of his personal votes and the party in total got only 13,8% (-7,3%).

    The right-wing populist Finns party got an unexpectedly good result with 17,5% of votes and 39 seats, only slightly behind the Social Democratic Party which won, but only moderately after a four-year period of right-wing coalition. SDP got 40 MPs (+6) and 17,7% of votes. Despite victory SDP got second lowest share of votes in Finnish history (only in 2011 the share was lower), while centre-right National Coalition Party got its lowest share of votes (17,0%) in over half a century.

    Among the winners were also the Green League which got its best result in parliamentary elections, 11,5% of votes and 20 MPs (+5). The small parties of the left, Communist Party, Feminist Party and Communist Workers’ Party got only 12 000 votes in total (0,4%).

    Never before in Finnish history the largest party has got less then 20% of votes. The number of women in parliament is likely to be 93 which is highest figure in Finnish history.

    Party% of Votes% ChangeMPs totalMP change
    Social Democratic Party17,7+1,240+6
    The Finns17,5-0,239+1
    National Coalition Party17,0-1,238+1
    Centre Right13,8-7,331-18
    Green League11,5+3,020+5
    Left Alliance8,2+1,016+4
    Swedish People's Party4,5-0,390
    Christian Democrats3,9+0,450
    Blue Future1,0+1,000
    Movement Now2,3+2,31+1
    Aland Coalition0,4010


    The election campaign was characterised by three issues: The social and health care reform which was failed in former government and in this respect the several scandals with private nursing homes for elderly, migration and climate change. The Finns party positioned itself as anti-climate change action party, while all the other parties in parliament had signed an initiative to reduce the global warming to 1.5 degrees.

    The winning Social Democratic Party will head the talks for government coalition. It seems likely that Greens will be in government but the Left-Green coalition is far from majority with its 76 MPs even if smaller centrist parties, the Swedish People’s Party (10) and Christian Democrats (5) are included. Majority government needs participation of one of the right-wing parties. Of them the Finns is unlikely, the Centre party may feel interested in going to opposition after the bad result in elections, while co-operation with National Coalition Party is problematic for Left Alliance. Moreover, according to recent party decision, the government participation of Left Alliance needs to be approved by membership referendum.

    The support for Left Alliance has grown slowly but firmly and electoral victory will give new pace for Finnish left, moreover, the prospects for left- and green-oriented government are good, even with the participation of Left Alliance, for the first time since 2014 when the party left government because of social security budget cuts.   

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