Liberalism and centrism in Finland

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This article gives an overview of liberalism and centrism in Finland. It is limited to liberal and centrist parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it is not necessary so that parties labeled themselves as a liberal party.


Liberalism was a major force in Finland since 1894. After independence the current gradually decreased. A major other force, agrarianism, choose in 1965 to develop itself into a more centrist current. The liberal character of the Finnish Center (Suomen Keskusta), member of LI and ELDR, is based on liberal ideas like decentralization, peasant-like freedom and progressivism.[1] The Swedish minority party Swedish People's Party (Svenska Folkpartiet i Finland) is also a member of LI, ELDR. The original liberal current is now organized in the Liberals (Liberaalit), a very small extra-parliamentary party. At the autonomous island of Åland the Liberals for Åland (Liberalerna på Åland) are a dominant force.

The timeline[edit]

Liberal Club / Liberal Party[edit]

  • 1877: Liberals formed the Liberal Club (Liberaalinen Klubi), renamed in 1880 Liberal Party (Liberaalinen Puolue)
  • 1882: The Liberal Party disappeared

From Young Finnish Party to Liberals[edit]

  • 1894: Liberal fennomans formed the Young Finns Party (Nuorsuomalainen Puolue)
  • 1918: The NSP is reorganised into the National Progressive Party (Kansallinen Edistyspuolue)
  • 1951: The KEP fell apart into the Finnish People's Party (Suomen Kansanpuolue) and the ⇒ Free-minded League
  • 1965: The SK and the ⇒ Free-minded League reunited into the Liberal People's Party (Liberaalinen Kansanpuolue)
  • 1982: The LKP associated itself with the ⇒ Center Party
  • 1987: The LKP disassociated itself from the ⇒ Center Party
  • 1995: Last time LKP had a seat in the parliament, since then has been a very small extra-parliamentary party
  • 2000: The LKP renamed itself as Liberals (Liberaalit)
  • 2007: Removed from the party registry after failing to get a seat in two consecutive parliamentary elections

Swedish People's Party[edit]

People's Party[edit]

  • 1917: Progressive liberals formed the People's Party (Finland) (Kansanpuolue)
  • 1918: The People's Party merged into the ⇒ National Progressive Party

Free-minded League[edit]

  • 1951: The ⇒ National Progressive Party fell apart and the Free-minded League (Vapaamielisten Liitto) is formed
  • 1965: The League merged with the ⇒ Finnish People's Party into the ⇒ Liberal People's Party

Centre Party / Finnish Centre[edit]


Liberal and centrist leaders[edit]

Liberal thinkers[edit]

In the Contributions to liberal theory the following Finnish thinker is included:

See also[edit]