Conservatives and liberals neck-and-neck in Finnish national election


Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen with Council President Herman Van Rompuy in Helsinki, May 2013 [President of the European Council/Flickr]

The conservative governing party, the National Coalition, won the Finnish Parliament elections with 22.4% of the votes, closely followed by liberal opposition, the Centre Party, at 21%. 

The Eurosceptic Finns Party gained one mandate, with 13.1% and became the third-biggest party.

Meanwhile, the Christian Democrats lost their seat despite increasing their vote share, and the Greens lost one of their two seats.

According to the Finnish national broadcaster Yle, the National Coalition Party remains Finland’s leading political force, as the current Trade and European Affairs minister Alexander Stubb, who has run for an MEP seat, gathered more votes than any other candidate in Finland. His total was nearly double that of his nearest rival, Halla-aho. 

”It’s nice, but it really doesn’t matter if the team doesn’t win,” Stubb told Yle on the election night.

Stubb is also favorite to become the next prime minister of Finland, as the current PM, Jyrki Katainen, announced two months ago that he will step down in June, in order to become Finland’s next EU commissioner.

Finland’s current EU commissioner, Olli Rehn, from the liberal Centre Party, will become an MEP in the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

“It’s been a positive tremor,” said Rehn on election night.

Turnout in Finland rose to 40.9% from 40.3% in 2009.

On 22-25 May, all 28 EU member states will hold elections for the European Parliament.

Across Europe, parties are gearing up to go head-to-head on unemployment, euroscepticism and the future of the European Union.

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