#TrendingNews Blog Business Entertainment Environment Health Lifestyle News Analysis Opinion Science Sports Technology World News
NCP wins parliamentary election in Finland defeating Prime Minister Sanna Marin's SDP

Parliamentary elections were held in Finland on Sunday, April 2, for the renewal of the 200-seat local unicameral parliament, the Eduskunta.


With more than 99% of the votes counted so far, the winner was the center-right National Coalition Party (NCP), led by Petteri Orpo, albeit by a very narrow margin. Outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin's center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) was the third most voted party, behind Orpo's NCP and the far-right Finns Party led by Riika Purra.


The results of parliamentary elections in Finland (Chart by Yle)


There is a proportional electoral system in Finland. The parties will therefore have to seek an agreement for the formation of a government coalition. By practice, the party with the most votes indicates the prime minister and has priority for the formation of a coalition.


Orpo's National Coalition Party was the most voted party with 20.8 percent of the preferences and will occupy 48 seats in the Eduskunta. Finnish commentators and journalists disagree on what kind of deal and with which party Orpo will seek to agree.


According to some, the NCP will seek an agreement with the other center-right and far-right parties, therefore with Purra's Finns Party which obtained 20.1 percent of the votes, which translates into 46 seats. For the NCP and the Finns Party to obtain a majority in the Eduskunta they will have to extend the agreement to other parties as well to reach the quota of 101 seats out of 200 needed to govern.



According to other commentators, however, the NCP could seek an agreement with the Social Democrats of outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin. The Social Democrats won 19.9 percent of the vote and will occupy 43 seats in parliament. Therefore, also in this case the eventual coalition will have to expand to other parties but during the electoral campaign, Orpo seemed to want to indicate a break with the habits of the parties of the previous government coalition. Orpo mainly criticized the previous government's management of the economy, which caused the debt-to-GDP ratio to increase from 66% last year to 73% in the last quarter of 2022.


Eduskunta’s composition following the parliamentary elections that were held on Sunday (Chart by Yle)


On the other hand, a coalition agreement involving the three most-voted parties seems unlikely. Prime Minister Sanna Marin harshly criticized the leader of the Finns Party, Riika Purra, defining her electoral program as openly racist. The Finns Party has been led by Purra, who is 42, since 2021, and although she has since softened her positions on several topics, she has proposed an anti-elitist political agenda and is against the immigration of people from beyond the borders of the countries belonging to the European Union.


Sanna Marin was appointed prime minister in 2019 and was then the youngest Western head of government. During her time as Prime Minister, she had to deal with the coronavirus pandemic as well as the crisis caused by the Russian war against Ukraine. Finland shares a border of more than 1,300 kilometers with the Russian Federation: proximity which, over the years, had led the Finnish governments to exclude membership in NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.


The perception of the issue by the Finnish electorate and most of the parties has changed since 24 February last year and Finland applied for membership jointly with Sweden last May. While Sweden's application is still blocked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's obstructionism, Finland's accession process is expected to end soon. On Thursday, March 30, the Turkish parliament unanimously voted in favor of Finland joining NATO, which will therefore become its 31st member.



Although she is highly popular in her country (a poll published in December for the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper showed that 64 percent of Finns thought Marin did "very well" or "fairly well" as prime minister), Finnish voters considered the management of Finnish finances as inadequate and the fact that the central theme of the electoral campaign was precisely the economy did not allow the Social Democrats to repeat the result of the last parliamentary elections.


Edited by: Ritaja Kar

Share This Post On


Leave a comment

You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in