The European Elections in Finland

The European Elections in Finland

June 2019

The turnout for the European Parliament election in Finland was 42.7%, a notable increase of three percent in comparison to the previous elections in 2014.

Overall, the European election outcome was unexpected in Finland as it varies significantly from the results of the general elections held only a month before in April 2019 where the Social Democrats and the nationalist True Finns were the top two parties. Despite coming only fifth in the general election the Green League where the surprise package finishing second and increasing their representation in the European Parliament from 1 to 2 seats, with an additional seat to be added following the UK’s departure from the EU. The National Coalition Party managed to keep its top position in the polls and its 3 seats.

It appears that the consequences of having a general and a European election so close to each other saw the campaign dominated by the ongoing discussions to form the next national government, rather than by European issues. As a result the Social Democrats (SDP) managed only to retain their 2 seats, where they would have expected to make gains. The other major player in the coalition negotiations, the formerly governing Centre Party, lost one of its 3 seats. Surprisingly, the True Finns, who finished second in the general election but have been excluded from coalition negotiations, also failed to increase their representation,. It seems that the right wing voters have been less active in the European elections in comparison to the national Parliamentary elections.

Finland adds to the list of Member States where the green parties gained ground. Like in Germany and Austria, the Green League are thought to have gained votes from the Social Democrats. Heidi Hautala from the Greens is a notable Finnish MEP who will return to Brussels for the next term. She is a veteran politician in her own party, but also experienced MEP considered as the 11th most influential MEP during the 2014-2019 term.