European Parliament Elections 2019 in Finland

A brief summary

Finland elects 13 MEPs (14 after Brexit). The whole country is one constituency and there is no barrier, except the number of MEPs. In practice, around 6% of votes is enough for one seat, 12% for two seats and 18% for three seats. A voter needs to elect a candidate which belongs to a party list or electoral alliance. The seats are distributed between parties on the basis of the total number of votes given for the candidates of a party and inside the party list those who get the highest number of votes become elected. This increases intra-party competition between candidates and parties need to include candidates with different profiles in order to get a good result.

Finland had national parliamentary elections on 14 April, which resulted in an increase of support for SDP, Greens and Left Alliance and decrease for Centre party (Centrist, conservative, rural interests). SDP became the largest party and the party chairperson Antti Rinne started negotiations to form government with SDP, Left Alliance, Greens, Centre party and Swedish people’s party. The aim was to finish negotiations before European elections but the timetable was too tight and negotiations will come to the end only during this week.

Turnout was this time the highest in all Finnish European elections (except 1996 when MEPs were elected at the same time with local elections) 42,7% (those living in Finland) or 40,7% (including citizens living outside Finland). This is however lower than in national elections in which turnout is around 70%.

 

The results

The results in the table below are based on a preliminary counting a votes. All the votes will be recounted before 29 May when the final results will be published. However, the result shows clearly enough that no change in MEP seats can be expected.

(See result table below)

Left Alliance kept its MEP although the number of votes decreased from 2014. In 2014 Left Alliance had two main candidates with different profiles, Merja Kyllönen (58 611 votes), appealing more to older generation and in Northern Finland, and Li Andersson (47 599 votes), appealing more to young, urban, red-green voters. Now, there was only one main candidate, Silvia Modig (MP in Finnish parliament 2011-2019), who failed to get to Finnish parliament in April and decided to run for a MEP seat. She was a candidate also in 2014 but remained in the shadow of two main candidates.  Merja Kyllönen was also a candidate, but she had announced that she will stay in Finnish parliament to which she was elected in April, because of personal reasons. Despite this she became second among Left Alliance candidates and got over 23 000 votes.

Smaller parties of the left did not get large amount of votes: Communist party got 0,2% (-0,1%) as well as the Feminist party (new).

Globally, the election result is very similar to the result of the national April 2019 parliamentary elections. Pro-European parties, the Greens, Coalition Party, Swedish People’s party, get higher support than in parliamentary elections while the Finns party and Social Democrats lost. The only change in MEPs is that Centre party lost one seat and Greens got one more. Moreover, after Brexit, when Finland will get one MEP more, that new MEP will be from Greens. Greens became the second largest party for the first time (not including presidential elections of 2012 and 2018). Centre party is still suffering from its participation in centre-right coalition government, which policies were not liked by the rural voters.

From Coalition party a re-elected MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen is more ecologist and liberal, perhaps even more left-wing than her party, also MEP from Swedish People’s party Nils Torvards (father of Linux inventor Linus Torvalds) is a former hard-line communist journalist from 1970s and still pretty leftist and liberal. From the Finns party a moderate MEP Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner could not renew her seat but the Finns are represented by a creationist teacher Laura Huhtasaari (Finnish Marine LePen) and Finnish MP and former saw-mill owner Teuvo Hakkarainen, who has been convicted of assault and sexual harassment of another MP and suspected from racial hatred because of his talks which he defended by claiming that he comes from a rural background. The new MEPs from the Finns party are certainly more colourful than the former ones.

Party

Votes

%

MEPs

change from 2014

% change

MEP change

Change from April 2019

National Coalition Party

380,106

20.8

3

-10,270

-1.8

0

3.8

Green League

292,512

16.0

2

131,249

6.7

1

4.5

Finnish Social Democratic Party

267,342

14.6

2

54,561

2.3

0

-3.1

The Finns Party

252,990

13.8

2

30,533

1.0

0

-3.6

Centre Party of Finland

247,416

13.5

2

-92,479

-6.1

-1

-0.2

Left Alliance

125,749

6.9

1

-35,325

-2.4

0

-1.3

Swedish People’s Party

116,033

6.3

1

-714

-0.4

0

1.8

Christian Democrats

89,166

4.9

0

-1,420

-0.4

0

1.0

Seven Star Movement

16,140

0.9

0

16,140

0.9

0

0.5

Pirate Party of Finland

12,558

0.7

0

180

-0.0

0

0.1

Blue Reform

6,044

0.3

0

6,044

0.3

0

-0.6

Feminist Party

4,458

0.2

0

4,458

0.2

0

0.0

Junes Lokka (a single candidate)

4,064

0.2

0

4,064

0.2

0

0.2

Communist Party of Finland

3,659

0.2

0

-2,273

-0.1

0

0.1

Liberal party – Freedom of Choice

3,012

0.2

0

3,012

0.2

0

0.0

Animal Justice Party of Finland

2,924

0.2

0

2,924

0.2

0

0.1

Finnish People First

2,568

0.1

0

2,568

0.1

0

0.1

Citizen Party

2,058

0.1

0

2,058

0.1

0

-0.1

Total

1,828,799

100.0

13

     

Non-valid votes

6,331

0.3

     

Total

1,835,130

100.0

     

 

Votes of Left Alliance candidates (comparison to 2014 for those who were candidates also in 2014)

Candidate votes in 2019 votes in 2014
Modig, Silvia 51608 7260
Kyllönen, Merja 23263 58611
Sarkkinen, Hanna 10908 7342
Haglund, Mia 5303  
Halonen, Miila 3901  
Nevanlinna, Tuomas 3628  
Käppi, Matleena 2817  
Lindfors, Jaakko 2808  
Torkkola, Sinikka 2777 1792
Moisanen, Sari 2612  
Ahlfors, Tiina 2505  
Mäkipää, Anna 2117  
Lientola, Elisa 2051  
Majok, Ajak 2005  
Mielonen, Joona 1496  
Säynevirta, Sami 1448  
Haaja, Ilpo 1341  
Parkkila, Janne 1155  
Linna, Jukka 1007  
Kaakkuriniemi, Tapani 999