June 23. 2024. 2:12

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Finnish election results predict two possible government coalitions

All three of Finland’s biggest parties gained seats in Sunday’s election, with results suggesting complex negotiations ahead after what was a historically tight vote.

The election campaign focusing on the budget deficit, social security reform and immigration culminated on Sunday. Coming out on top was the liberal-conservative National Coalition Party (European People’s Party-NCP) with 20.8%.

Trailing behind was the nationalistic and populist Finns Party (Identity and Democracy) with 20.0%, slightly ahead of the current Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s social democrats (EU Social Democrats) with 19.9%.

Witnessing heavy losses were the Centre Party (Renew Europe), with 11.3%, and especially the Greens who crashed down to 7.0%.

Even before the elections, it was evident that the five-party government of the social democrats, the Centre, the Greens, the Left Alliance, and the Swedish People’s Party would not continue.

Unlike other Nordic countries, Finland does not have a tradition of minority governments.

Building the next majority government is likely difficult since the campaign was exceptionally polarised and ideologically flavoured between the right and left-wing parties.

Additionally, the human ”chemistry” between party chairs was questionable, and doors were slammed before election day. Major compromises will be required.

The scenarios

The results indicate two possible government coalitions.

One option could be the right-wing government built around the axis of the National Coalition Party (NCP) and the Finns Party.

The other alternative could be the blue-and-red government of the NCP and the social democrats.

Of the smaller parties possibly having a seat in the future cabinet are the Christian Democrats and the Swedish People’s Party both of which held their ground.

As the winner of the elections, the first one aiming to build a government will be the Chair of the National Coalition Party Petteri Orpo, who in all likelihood will also be the country’s next prime minister.

“We got the biggest mandate,” Reuters quoted Orpo as saying in a speech to followers, where he also vowed to “fix Finland” and its economy.

Current Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) reaffirmed her commitment to parliamentary work in Finland without any intention to move to international positions during election night.

Returning home to the 200-seat parliament from Brussels are two MEPs, Laura Huhtasaari (the Finns Party), and Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (SDP).

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)