A Success for the ‘Left Alliance’

Good news from the North: In the Finnish municipal elections on 9 April 2017, the Left Alliance reached 8.8% of the vote which corresponds to a plus of 0.8%. The success was due to a successful election campaign and the good work of party chairperson Li Andersson.

Among the winners of the elections are the Green Party and the conservative National Coalition Party; the right-wing populists and the Social-Democrats have  to accept dramatic losses.

The Left Alliance managed to increase its share of votes in almost all Finnish regions. It won more votes both in big cities (Helsinki: 11.2%, +1,1%; 10 seats, +1), and in small towns in comparison to both the parliamentary elections of 2015 and the municipal elections of 2012.

The support for the Left Alliance is the strongest in Northern Finland, where in several municipalities it reached over 30% of the vote. The Left Alliance was voted the largest party in two municipalities; Kemi in the North (33.7%), and Karkkila in the South (27.0%). 

Reasons for success

The success of Left Alliance was due to a successful election campaign, party chairperson Li Andersson’s very good performance in election debates and the party’s successful opposition politics to the current right-wing government. The electoral programme of the Left Alliance emphasised high-quality public services, equal rights to university education, good social and healthcare services, fair terms of employment as well as affordable housing and environmental protection.

Large gains for the Green Party

The other main winner of the elections was the Green party which increased its share of votes from 8.6% to 12.5%. Compared to the municipal elections of 2012, all parties in the government lost support. The right-wing populist party (The Finns) only reached 8.8% (­─3.5% compared to the municipal elections of 2012) and has lost half of its support (─8.9%) within two years since the parliamentary elections of 2015. The opposition’s success and decreasing support for the governing parties will increase external pressure against the government and cause internal conflicts between the parties in goverment.  

Losses for the Social-Democratic Party

The election result was unsuccessful also for the Social-Democratic Party which reached only 19.4% (─0.2%) of the vote and came second after the conservative National Coalition Party (20.7%, ─1.2%). The Coalition Party managed to even increase its support in comparison to the last parliamentary elections.

Although the Social-Democrats increased their results since the parliamentary elections of 2015, their result was the worst for the party since 1945 and also the worst result for the main oppposition party for decades. Also the party of the Prime Minister, the Centre Party (17.5% ─1.2%), reached its worst result in over 60 years.