A voter examined the ballot paper in a polling booth in Suvela, Espoo, on Sunday, 23 January 2022. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

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DOZENS OF MUNICIPALITIES were left without representation on the county councils in the county elections held in Finland on Sunday, 23 January.

Helsingin Sanomat on Monday reported that as many as 49 of the 309 municipalities in the country were set to be left without representation with 98 per cent of the votes counted shortly after midnight.

The largest of the municipalities was the over 16,000-resident municipality of Akaa in Pirkanmaa. A total of 25 candidates from the municipality vied for a seat on the council of the wellbeing services county of Pirkanmaa.

Voter turnout in Akaa stood at only 44.2 per cent, which is 5.2 percentage points lower than in Pirkanmaa and 3.3 points lower than in all of Finland.

The municipalities without representation are also set to include the nearly 10,000-resident municipality of Ii in North Ostrobothnia, almost 7,000-resident municipality of Ikaalinen in Pirkanmaa, over 6,500-resident municipality of Kemiönsaari in Southwest Finland, 6,000-resident municipality of Siuntio in West Uusimaa, almost 6,000-resident municipality of Tammela in Kanta-Häme and over 5,000-resident municipality of Nakkila in Satakunta.

The municipalities had 8–21 candidates in the elections.

Helsingin Sanomat also wrote that the councils are, as expected, set to be dominated by the largest municipalities of each county.

In West Uusimaa, 47 of the 79 seats were won by candidates from Espoo. Candidates from Turku won 30 of the 79 seats in Southwest Finland, candidates from Tampere 39 of the 79 seats in Pirkanmaa and candidates from Jyväskylä 36 of the 69 seats in Central Finland. Candidates from Pori won 28 of the 69 seats in Satakunta and candidates from Hämeenlinna 25 of the 59 seats in Kanta-Häme.

Women clinched 53 per cent of nearly 1,400 available seats, despite having made up only 45 per cent of the 10,584 candidates who threw their hat into the ring for a seat on the county councils. The results are in stark contrast to those of the municipal elections of mid-2021, where 60 per cent of the seats were won by men and 40 per cent by women.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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