President Sauli Niinistö cruised to a landslide victory in the presidential elections held on Sunday, 28 January, 2018.
Niinistö claimed 62.7 per cent of the vote in the elections where 69.9 per cent of the electorate turned out at polling stations to vote. Over a third (36.7%) of the electorate of 4.24 million cast their vote in advance, while 33.2 per cent waited until election day to cast their vote.
The voter turnout represents a drop of 2.9 percentage points from the first round of the previous presidential elections in 2012. The turnout has decreased steadily since the first direct presidential elections were organised in Finland in 1994, when roughly 82 per cent of the electorate turned out at polling stations.
Jussi Westinen, a researcher at Think Tank E2, says to Helsingin Sanomat that the turnout was relatively high in light of the setting heading into the elections.
“When you take into consideration how clear the setting was before the elections, the [voter turnout] was relatively good. There wasn’t as much at stake as previously. Previously there has been a second round of voting, and the vote count has decided who’ll make it into the second round and even who’ll end up winning,” he commented to the newspaper on Sunday.
Pekka Haavisto (Greens) was the expected runner-up in the presidential elections with a vote share of 12.4 per cent.
The battle for third place was decided between the two eurosceptic presidential candidates, Laura Huhtasaari (PS) and Paavo Väyrynen (ind.), with the former winning 6.9 and the latter 6.2 per cent of the vote.
The rest of the votes were divided as follows: the Centre’s Matti Vanhanen (4.1%), the Social Democrats’ Tuula Haatainen (3.3%), the Left Alliance’s Merja Kyllönen (3.0%) and the Swedish People’s Party’s Nils Torvalds (1.5%).
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva