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The final results of Finland’s 2019 parliamentary election came in after midnight on Monday, after an exciting and speculation-filled night, as the candidates and the media reacted to preliminary results.
These predicted a victory for the Social Democrats (SDP), but also a somewhat fragmented political space with no runaway winner, comprised instead of five mid-sized parties at the top, all of whom received less than 20 percent of the votes.
The SDP, led by Antti Rinne, ended up securing the victory with 40 seats in parliament, as the polls had indicated.
However, the biggest upset was staged by the populist Finns Party, who started out fluctuating between third and fourth place, tied with the Centre Party, but ended the night giving SDP a run for their money in the race to the top. In the end, they came in second, with one seat less than SDP.
The National Coalition Party at first seemed to be SDP’s main rival but gradually sunk to third place, securing 38 seats.
The Centre Party of exiting Prime Minister Juha Sipilä lost a lot of support, finishing fourth with 31 seats.
Pekka Haavisto’s Green League won 20 seats after a successful campaign focused on environmental issues, followed by the Left Alliance, led by Li Andersson, who secured 16 seats in parliament.
The Swedish People’s Party came in ahead of the Christian Democrats, while the Blue Reform, who emerged from the 2017 split within the Finns party, failed to win any seats.
Instead, Movement Now, a non-parliamentary candidate, managed to get a representative in parliament.
Given the close results of the election and the fact that the top five parties all secured a considerable number of seats, tough government negotiations lie ahead.