Finland

Centre Party expected to emerge triumphant in General Election today


Published

There has been a slight increase in the number of people in advance voting in the general election for which polling day is today. In advance voting which started on 8th April and continued until 14th April a total of 1,346,000 have voted or 31.9% of the electorate; in 2011 the figure was 31.2%.

Today there will be polling stations in 89 overseas missions and across Finland 4,468,462 eligible voters will be entitled to vote between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. There are 2,146 candidates, a fall of 169 on 2011, standing for the 200 seat unicameral Eduskunta or parliament.

The current government is a four party coalition led by Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and his National Coalition Party (Kokoomus or KOK). They won 44 of the 200 seats in the Eduskunta in 2011.

The other parties in the coalition government are the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 42 seats, the centrist Swedish People’s Party (SPP) with nine seats and the centre-right Christian Democrats (KD) with six seats, as well as the MP for Åland.

The left-wing Left Alliance (VAS) with 14 seats and the Green League (Gröna) with 10 seats were also part of the governing coalition, but both left in 2014.

The centrist Centre Party, which had been the largest party in 2007 and had held the Prime Minister’s post since 2003, did badly in 2011 and emerged with just 35 seats and went into opposition.

The right-wing and Eurosceptic True Finns party (PS) emerged from the 2011 election as the third largest party with 39 seats.

In the most recent opinion poll, published by the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper with polling by TNS Gallup suggests that the centrist Centre Party will be the largest party with 23% of the vote. The centre-right KOK and the centre-left SDP are both on 17% and the True Finns (now known as the Finns Party) are on 16.2%.

The Greens are on 8.1%, the centrist SPP are on 4.6% and the Christian Democrats (KD) look set to take 3.7% of the vote.

The majority of people interviewed in the poll expect to see the Centre Party and Social Democrats to form a coalition after the election.

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