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Jan Vapaavuori from the National Coalition Party was the vote-puller in Helsinki with 295,47 votes. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

At 03:00 on Monday morning it was clear: National Coalition Party (NCP) is the clear winner of the 2017 [highlight color=#FFFF00 ]municipal elections[/highlight].

The party, which speaks for liberal and conservative values, received 20.7 percent of all votes in the country. They received 530,788 votes and 1,492 seats in city councils across the nation. It’s one of the four largest parties in Finland, a pro-European coalition packing 41,000 members.

Antti Rinne, the chair of SDP, has suggested a language test for foreigners moving to Finland for work. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The second place was taken by the Social Democratic Party, which grabbed 19.4 percent of the votes and received 1,696 seats. The party, which has about 50,000 members, believes in a fair society that rewards hard work and fair play but has historically objected the increase of labor-based immigration to Finland. “It’s not racism, but a sensible reaction to the fact that we have 300,000 of Finns are unemployed,” said SDP veteran, Eero Heinäluoma, in an interview for Uusi Suomi in 2010. “I’ve been thinking if we should require a certain standard of language skills to be able to enter Finland, which would in return guarantee work safety at the workplaces,” said SDP chair, Antti Rinne, in a campaign debate before the parliament elections in 2015.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, who chairs the Centre Party, said that the result of the voting for Centre is a “great result done by heart and guts (sisu) during troubled times” at the party’s election event at restaurant Loiste in Helsinki. Archive Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The third place in municipal elections was received by the Centre Party with 17.5 percent of the votes. The party represents rural Finland, with Juha Sipilä as the chair and prime minister. It’s the largest party in Finland with 163,000 members.

Green League chair Ville Niinistö, who is a common sight in protests demanding justice for minority groups, was extremely happy with the election results for the Greens. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The Green League grabbed 12,4 percent of the votes, receiving 536 seats in councils across the country – a big climb from receiving 8.5 percent of the votes in the last municipal elections in 2012; the result on Monday morning is their all-time best. The party holds 15 seats in the opposition of the Finnish Parliament. The Greens is the most immigrant friendly party in Finland, but their economic opinions range between left and right, standing somewhere between the Left Alliance and Social Democrats. The victory in the elections is a clear sign that the party, which holds about 8,000 members, is on its way to becoming a party for the masses.

Timo Soini admitted that the Finns Party “got their ass kicked.” Archive Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The Finns Party received a historically low number of votes: 8.8 percent – 8,1094 votes less than in municipal elections in 2012, but the nationalist party with about 9,500 members holds the crown of being the most conservative. “We got our ass kicked, but survived. There’s no other way to go around this than declaring that we lost these elections,” the party chair and Foreign Minister Timo Soini said on Sunday’s election night at the Ostrobotnia restaurant in Helsinki. “And now my friends: now I will grab a beer!” he continued. Soini is going to step down from his post as the party leader in June.

Jussi Halla-aho grabbed most votes among the Finns Party candidates and is as well a strong candidate for the party leader. Picture: Seppo Sirkka for Finland Today

A strong candidate for his follower is Jussi Halla-aho, a man who has, for example, stated (in his own words as a joke) that “Robbing of passers-by and living as a parasite is a national, maybe even a genetic characteristic of Somalis.” Halla-aho was the vote-puller of the Finns Party in Helsinki grabbing 5,641 votes.

The Left Alliance received the same number of votes than the Finns Party: 8.8 percent. The Swedish People’s Party received 4.9 of the votes and the Christian Democrats received 4.1 of the votes.

In total, 8,999 members were chosen to the city councils of about 300 municipalities. Of a total of 33,618 candidates, about 60 percent were men and their middle-age was 50. The voter turnout was 58.8 percent, rising slightly from 58.2 percent in 2012.

Tony Öhberg