Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen's Centre Party won the parliamentary elections with 23.1% of votes, followed closely by the National Coalition Party (22.3%) and the Social Democrats (21.4%).
However, the biggest winner of the elections, held on 18 March 2007, is the National Coalition Party (centre-right), which gained 3.7% in votes and ten seats compared with the 2003 elections. The Centre Party lost 1.6% and four seats and the Social Democrats, its main government partner, lost 3.1% and eight seats. The Left Alliance also 1.1% and two seats, whereas the Extreme right (True Finns Party) gained ground, from 1.6% in 2003 to 4.1% (5 seats).
The National Coalition Party (NCP) now holds 50 seats of the 200-member Finnish parliament. The Centre Party has 51 seats and the Social Democrats 45.
According to a Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, negotiations for the government are set to be long and difficult. Prime minister's Centre Party, leading the negotiations, is expected to take into account the spectacular advance of the opposition and analysts predict a centre-right coalition (Centre Party, NCP and the Swedish People's Party), which would leave the Social Democrats in opposition for the first time in a decade. In September 2006, Sweden, the Nordic neighbour of Finland, voted the Social Democrats out and opted for a centre-right coalition.
The main topics of the elections focused on social services, in particular the ageing population and job-creation. The turnout, which was more than 70% in 2003, fell to 67.8%.