In the election in Finland, the Social Democrats have become the strongest force. Just behind it landed the right-wing populist party "The Finns". The "center" of Prime Minister Sipilä lost significantly.
The Social Democrats around their leader Antti Rinne have become the strongest force in the parliamentary elections in Finland. They won 40 of Parliament's 200 seats, six more than before. The preliminary calculations are completed, the Finnish Ministry of Justice said. The official final result should be published by Wednesday.
It's the party's first election victory since 1999. Rinne said he wanted to form a government by the end of May.
In second place follows the right-wing populist party "The Finns" with 39 seats. Their distance from the Social Democrats is very close. While the election winners won 17.7 percent of the vote, the Finns reached 17.5 percent. The leader of the party "The Finns" has been very surprised by their good performance in the parliamentary elections. "I've never expected such a result. Honestly, none of us expected that result," said Jussi Halla-aho. He spoke of a "day of joy".
In third place was the conservative National Collection Party with 17 percent of the vote, which corresponds to 38 seats in parliament. The Center Party of the former Prime Minister Juha Sipilä was clearly punished and is therefore at only 13.8 percent, or 31 parliamentary seats (-18). Sipilä was contrite: "The center is the biggest loser of this election, which is a big disappointment for us."
Voter turnout has risen
The Greens and the left-wing party Vas also gained noticeably. With 20 (+5) and 16 (+4) seats in the next parliament, they will have much larger political groups than before.
According to the electoral commission, voter turnout rose to 72 percent. In 2015, it had amounted to 70.1 percent.
This means that the Nordic EU state faces difficult government negotiations. The leftist parties have in parliament with 200 seats no majority. A coalition of the center-right bloc with the Finnish party, however, would have a majority.
EU Council Presidency soon after Finland
The performance of the Finnish party is also interesting with regard to the European elections on 26 May: The Finns are among the German AfD and the Italian Lega among the parties that want to form a new alliance of right-wing populists in the European Parliament. Finland will also take over the EU presidency on 1 July.