Finnish parliamentary election, 1999

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Finnish parliamentary election, 1999
Finland
1995 ←
21 March 1999 → 2003

All 200 seats to the Parliament
101 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Paavo Lipponen Esko Aho Sauli Niinistö
Leader Paavo Lipponen Esko Aho Sauli Niinistö
Party Social Democratic Centre National Coalition
Leader since 1993 1990 1994
Last election 63 seats, 28.3% 44 seats, 19.9% 39 seats, 17.9%
Seats won 51 48 46
Seat change Decrease12 Increase4 Increase7
Popular vote 612,963 600,592 563,835
Percentage 22.9% 22.4% 21.0%
Swing Decrease5.4% Increase2.6% Increase3.1%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Suvi-Anne Siimes Satu Hassi Jan-Erik Enestam
Leader Suvi-Anne Siimes Satu Hassi Jan-Erik Enestam
Party Left Alliance Green League Swedish People's
Leader since 1998 1997 1998
Last election 22 seats, 11.2% 9 seats, 6.5% 11 seats, 5.1%
Seats won 20 11 11
Seat change Decrease2 Increase2 Steady0
Popular vote 291,675 194,846 137,330
Percentage 10.9% 7.3% 4.6%
Swing Decrease0.3% Increase0.8% Decrease0.5%

  Seventh party Eighth party Ninth party
  Bjarne Kallis Blank.png Timo Soini
Leader Bjarne Kallis Risto Kuisma Timo Soini
Party Christian League Reform Finns
Leader since 1995 1998 1997
Last election 7 seats, 3.0% new party 1 seat, 1.3% (SMP)
Seats won 10 1 1
Seat change Increase3 Increase1 Steady0
Popular vote 111,835 28,549 26 440
Percentage 4.2% 1.1% 1.0%
Swing Increase1.1% Increase1.1% Decrease0.3%

Prime Minister before election

Paavo Lipponen
Social Democratic

Prime Minister

Paavo Lipponen
Social Democratic

Coat of arms of Finland.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Finland

Parliamentary elections were held in Finland on 21 March 1999.[1] Despite suffering significant losses, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) remained the largest party of the Eduskunta and Paavo Lipponen remained Prime Minister.

Background[edit]

Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen's five-party "rainbow government" consisting of the SDP, National Coalition Party, Left Alliance, Swedish People's Party and the Green League had been in power since April 1995. It had managed to keep Finland's economy growing, to reduce the state's budget deficit and to create jobs, although it had failed to halve the unemployment rate: in 1995, the unemployment had been 15.4% and in 1999, it still stood at 10.2%. This was, as the governing parties pointed out, still a better record than the previous centre-right government's performance; during its term between 1991 and 1995, the unemployment had risen from 6.6% to 15.4%.

Campaign[edit]

The largest opposition party, the Centre Party, tried to become the largest party overall, and to re-join the government. They called for labour reform, which they claimed would make it easier for employers to hire new employees and for small enterprises to operate. Finland's largest labour unions rejected the proposed work reform, claiming that it would reduce the employees' job security and would excessively increase the employers' power. The Centrists also accused the government of not improving the Finnish economy enough, and of not slowing down sufficiently the large internal migration of Finns from the rural towns and small cities to the large economic growth centres, like the Helsinki and Tampere regions.

Several parties hired as their candidates previously non-political or only locally politically active celebrities, such as Leena Harkimo, the manager of Helsinki's ice hockey team Jokerit, Lasse Virén, a former long-distance running Olympic champion, and Anni Sinnemäki, the songwriter of pop music group Ultra Bra. Some of these celebrities got elected. After the elections, Prime Minister Lipponen formed a new government of the same five parties. Only one of those parties left the government during the parliamentary term 1999-2003: the Greens moved into the opposition in May 2002, when the Parliament approved the construction of Finland's fifth nuclear power plant.[2][3]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party 612,963 22.9 51 –12
Centre Party 600,592 22.4 48 +4
National Coalition Party 563,835 21.0 46 +7
Left Alliance 291,675 10.9 20 –2
Green League 194,846 7.3 11 +2
Swedish People's Party 137,330 5.1 11 0
Finnish Christian League 111,835 4.2 10 +3
Reform Group 28,549 1.1 1 New
Young Finns 28,084 1.0 0 –2
Finns Party 26,440 1.0 1 New
Communist Party of Finland 20,442 0.8 0 New
Ecological Party the Greens 10,378 0.4 0 –1
Alliance for Free Finland 10,104 0.4 0 0
Åland Coalition 5,870 0.2 1 0
Pensioners for People 5,451 0.2 0 0
Liberal People's Party 5,194 0.0 0 0
Pensioners' Party 4,481 0.2 0 0
Natural Law Party 3,903 0.1 0 0
Communist Workers' Party – For Peace and Socialism 3,455 0.1 0 0
Others 15,864 0.6 0
Invalid/blank votes 28,804
Total 2,710,095 100 200 0
Registered voters/turnout 4,152,430 65.3
Source: Tilastokeskus[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p606 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Hannakatri Hollmén et al (2000) What Where When 2000 - The Citizen's Yearbook, Otava, pp208–211, 240–241
  3. ^ Jukka Hartikainen et al (2002) What Where When 2003 - The Citizen's Yearbook, Otava, pp15–116
  4. ^ Eduskuntavaalit 1927–2003 Tilastokeskus 2004