First round victory for National Coalition in Finland presidential election

The National Coalition Party has won a first-round victory in the Finnish presidential elections. With a massive 37 percent of the vote, the country’s former finance minister Sauli Niinistö will now face off against Green League candidate Pekka Haavisto (18.8 percent) in the second round on 5th February.

Paavo Väyrynen of the central party was a close third with 17.5 percent, while with only 9.4 percent, Timo Soini of the right-wing Finns Party conceded defeat and called his fourth-place ranking, “Not good, but satisfactory.”

Paavo Lipponen of the Social Democratic Party faired slightly worse with 6.7 percent, but said he is remaining hopeful.”It could have gone better, but it is better that the polls expected. It’s rather far from the second round, but let’s see,” he said according to a YLE report. He also claimed he was swimming against the current in his campaign and paraphrased Vaclav Havel, the late Czech president, when declaring that his ethos on values will have an impact in the long term.

Paavo Arhinmäki from the Left Alliance said he was satisfied with the party’s campaign, even though he only received 5.5 percent of votes. He added that the atmosphere of the elections was good and that they were worth taking part in.

Sari Essayah of the Christian Democratic Party interpreted her 2.5 percent share as an indication that women’s issues do not rank high on Finland’s agenda. She said, however, that she was happy with her own drive. “The campaign was good and there has been positive feedback,” she said.

There was a turnout of roughly 73 percent, with slightly more than 4.4 million eligible to vote.