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Author Topic: Finland: Presidential election, 28 January 2018 (and possibly 11 February)  (Read 1679 times)
Helsinkian
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« on: December 18, 2017, 04:11:07 am »
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Finland's President will be elected for a six-year term using a two-round system. If a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes a second round will not be needed. Though the 2000 Constitution transferred much of the President's powers to the Prime Minister, the President continues to hold power on foreign and defence policy and is the commander-in-chief of the military. He also continues to hold some appointment powers.

The candidates:

Sauli Niinistö, 69, Independent (incumbent). Elected President as the National Coalition Party's candidate in 2012 after unsuccesfully running in 2006, Niinistö is now running for a second term as an independent candidate. As is traditional, he resigned his party membership when he assumed the office, though that would not have prevented him from accepting the party's nomination for re-election; by running as an independent he wishes to portray himself as above party politics.

Paavo Väyrynen, 71, Independent. An MEP and a former chairman of the Centre Party, the veteran politician Väyrynen has run for President three times prior to this election. In 2016, disappointed with the Centre Party's pro-EU stances, he founded a new party called the Citizens' Party (which has failed to gain support). In addition, he is a member of the Christian Democrats' fraction in the Helsinki city council. The Centre Party has been unable to expel him from party membership due to peculiarities of the party rules. In this election Väyrynen is running as an independent. His critics view him as a pro-Russia politician, though he himself would say that he merely advocates for a pragmatic approach.

Pekka Haavisto, 59, Green League. A former Minister and a UN envoy, Haavisto surprised many by appealing to progressive voters in the urban centres and reaching the second round in 2012. Haavisto is homosexual.

Laura Huhtasaari, 38, Finns Party. Dubbed "Finland's Marine Le Pen" by some, Huhtasaari advocates for Finland's exit from the EU and tight controls on immigration. MP and deputy chair of the Finns Party.

Matti Vanhanen, 62, Centre Party. Vanhanen was Prime Minister from 2003 until 2010. He was the party's presidential candidate in 2006 as well. This time he might lose not only to Niinistö but to Väyrynen as well among Centre Party supporters.

Tuula Haatainen, 57, Social Democratic Party. A former Minister, Haatainen might struggle to reach even the bad 6.7% voteshare that the SDP candidate got in the 2012 election.

Merja Kyllönen, 41, Left Alliance. An MEP, Kyllönen belongs to the Left Alliance's younger red-green wing, though unlike most others in that faction she hails from the countryside.

Nils Torvalds, 72, Swedish People's Party. Torvalds was a communist in his youth but later renounced those views and joined the bourgeois SPP. Now an MEP, he is profiling himself as the only candidate unambiguously in favour of joining NATO (Niinistö continues to be intentionally vague on the issue). He is father to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux.

The National Coalition Party and the Christian Democrats support the candidature of Niinistö. Blue Reform, the party that broke away from the Finns Party in 2017, is not officially supporting any candidate.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 04:23:29 am by Helsinkian »Logged
Helsinkian
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 04:16:07 am »
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The winner of this election is hardly in doubt. Sauli Niinistö continues to enjoy high approval ratings, and some betting sites will only give you 102 euros for a 100 euro bet on Niinistö winning.

The latest poll:

Niinistö 64%
Haavisto 12%
Huhtasaari 3%
Vanhanen 3%
Kyllönen 3%
Haatainen 2%
Väyrynen 2%
Torvalds 1%

Some polls have had Niinistö's vote share as high as 80%. It will come down when we approach the election date but Niinistö winning the election on the first round with an absolute majority of the votes seems the most likely scenario.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 04:27:00 am by Helsinkian »Logged
Helsinkian
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 10:31:59 am »
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Niinistö's support remains high.

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tack50
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2018, 11:17:24 am »
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Seems like the question is whether Niinisto or Putin will get a higher percentage XD
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Kaniela Ing/Jared Golden 2028
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 03:26:57 am »
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Jeez these are like Mobutu Sese Seko numbers.
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 11:43:17 am »
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Finns Party is again using yellow as the primary colour on their election posters. I believe they've had yellow posters in every election since (at least) 2011. Perhaps surprisingly, since the colour yellow has no historical connection with Finnish nationalism. Traditionally the colour would have been associated with the Swedish People's Party.

Haavisto, the Green candidate, is largely using the colour blue in his campaign material.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 11:50:47 am by Helsinkian »Logged
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 01:16:27 pm »
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Jeez these are like Mobutu Sese Seko numbers.

Of course the President of Finland is not that powerful a position, so there's really no comparison.

Also, I think people actually consider Niinisto to be a balanced leader, not just as a complete cult of personality.
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 01:20:02 pm »
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Also the Finns at 5% is music to my eyes.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 04:49:28 am »
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Finns Party is again using yellow as the primary colour on their election posters. I believe they've had yellow posters in every election since (at least) 2011. Perhaps surprisingly, since the colour yellow has no historical connection with Finnish nationalism. Traditionally the colour would have been associated with the Swedish People's Party.

Haavisto, the Green candidate, is largely using the colour blue in his campaign material.
Could it be by contagion of the Swedish Democrats ?
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I haven't seen anything pointing to a Brexit win at this point, when you factor in how a referendum actually works.

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Helsinkian
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2018, 02:59:55 pm »
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Torvalds was a communist in his youth but later renounced those views and joined the bourgeois SPP. Now an MEP, he is profiling himself as the only candidate unambiguously in favour of joining NATO (Niinistö continues to be intentionally vague on the issue).

To be more precise, Niinistö's stance on NATO-membership is "not now; maybe later, and even then only after a referendum".

Such a referendum would be risky. Many fear that Russia would try to infuence it in one way or another. And if the outcome were a "No" (polls show a clear majority opposed to membership) it might send a signal to the world that Finland is returning to the the days of "Finlandization".

For some reason many Finnish politicians are simultaneously fervently pro-EU and anti-NATO, even though most EU countries are NATO members. Regardless, if Sweden were to join NATO, it is likely that many opposed to NATO would change their mind, as otherwise Finland would become the only country in the Baltic Sea region outside of the alliance (not counting Russia itself).
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 05:44:28 pm »
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New poll suggests that a second round might be within the realm of possibilities (Tietoykkönen, 9 to 16 Jan).

Niinistö 58%
Haavisto 14%
Väyrynen 7%
Huhtasaari 6%
Vanhanen 5%
Haatainen 4%
Kyllönen 4%
Torvalds 2%

Edit: another poll shows a different picture (TNS Gallup 8 to 17 Jan):

Niinistö 68%
Haavisto 11%
Väyrynen 8%
Huhtasaari 4%
Vanhanen 3%
Kyllönen 3%
Haatainen 2%
Torvalds 1%
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 07:51:17 pm by Helsinkian »Logged
Helsinkian
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 03:39:30 pm »
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Early voting period ends with 36.1% of voters having voted (up from 2012).
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2018, 03:59:36 am »
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Final poll before election day:



Edit: another poll released on the same day (TNS) has these numbers:

Niinistö 58%
Haavisto 13%
Väyrynen 7%
Huhtasaari 5%
Haatainen 5%
Kyllönen 5%
Vanhanen 4%
Torvalds 3%
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 08:56:16 am by Helsinkian »Logged
DavidB.
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2018, 01:37:24 pm »
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How do you think about Niinistö, Helsinkian?
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2018, 08:46:09 am »
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How do you think about Niinistö, Helsinkian?

I think he tries too hard to appear as a centrist moderate who can be supported by anyone to the point that it obscures his actual stances. I voted for him in the runoff against Haavisto in 2012, though. I'll give him credit for improving Finland's relations to the US (president Halonen was pretty dismissive about that relationship).

I'm voting for Huhtasaari in this election, even though I disagree with her opposition to NATO (Halla-aho supports joining NATO but it's not the Finns Party's official stance).
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 02:36:23 pm by Helsinkian »Logged
Helsinkian
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« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2018, 04:23:39 pm »
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The small Communist Party of Finland (SKP), known for its various schisms, is experiencing another schism, this time caused by the independent presidential candidate Paavo Väyrynen. The newspaper Maaseudun tulevaisuus is reporting that some members of the party's central committee wanted the party to endorse Väyrynen on the grounds that he is the most Russia-friendly candidate (the extreme left continues to be pro-Russia even after the Soviet Union's fall). While no endorsement was made in the end, one member of the central committee quit the party because he felt that even discussing such an endorsement was betraying the party's values, partly because Väyrynen tacitly gave his approval for the far-right Suomi Ensin ("Finland First") organisation to collect signatures for his candidacy. The Communists' youth organisation also expressed their dismay at such an endorsement being considered.

It should be noted that Maaseudun tulevaisuus is a Centre Party newspaper, so they do have a motive to attack the former Centre Party member Väyrynen because he is taking votes from Vanhanen, the Centre's candidate.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2018, 04:28:50 pm by Helsinkian »Logged
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2018, 05:05:56 pm »
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The small Communist Party of Finland (SKP), known for its various schisms, is experiencing another schism, this time caused by the independent presidential candidate Paavo Väyrynen. The newspaper Maaseudun tulevaisuus is reporting that some members of the party's central committee wanted the party to endorse Väyrynen on the grounds that he is the most Russia-friendly candidate (the extreme left continues to be pro-Russia even after the Soviet Union's fall). While no endorsement was made in the end, one member of the central committee quit the party because he felt that even discussing such an endorsement was betraying the party's values, partly because Väyrynen tacitly gave his approval for the far-right Suomi Ensin ("Finland First") organisation to collect signatures for his candidacy. The Communists' youth organisation also expressed their dismay at such an endorsement being considered.

It should be noted that Maaseudun tulevaisuus is a Centre Party newspaper, so they do have a motive to attack the former Centre Party member Väyrynen because he is taking votes from Vanhanen, the Centre's candidate.

Conflict seems to be largely generational one with older members backing Väyrynen perhaps due to residual pro-Russia sentiment (Väyrynen was very pro-Moscow back in the 80's) while new generation is much more oriented towards European and Latin American radical left.
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Helsinkian
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2018, 01:02:41 pm »
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47% counted:

Niinistö 64.4
Haavisto 11.2
Huhtasaari 6.0
Väyrynen 6.0
Vanhanen 4.5
Haatainen 3.5
Kyllönen 3.2
Torvalds 1.2

No surprises here.

Results at YLE.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 01:14:29 pm by Helsinkian »Logged
Helsinkian
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2018, 03:19:32 pm »
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100% counted:

Niinistö 62.7
Haavisto 12.4
Huhtasaari 6.9
Väyrynen 6.2
Vanhanen 4.1
Haatainen 3.3
Kyllönen 3.0
Torvalds 1.5

Niinistö won all municipalities, including all of Åland (in 2012 the Swedish People's Party candidate won Åland).
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 03:32:42 pm by Helsinkian »Logged
Helsinkian
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2018, 03:28:15 pm »
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Niinistö won all municipalities, including all of Åland (in 2012 the Swedish People's Party candidate won Åland).

The map of the second place candidates by municipality is more colorful:

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DavidB.
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2018, 04:31:54 pm »
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And 69.9% voted? That's quite good turnout for Finland, especially given that everyone knew who would win this election.
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Aboa
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2018, 05:09:12 pm »
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And 69.9% voted? That's quite good turnout for Finland, especially given that everyone knew who would win this election.

Presidential elections nowadays always have higher turnout than parliamentary ones, last time there was lower turnout in presidential elections than this was in 1950 (of course voting for electoral college isn't all that comparable)
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DavidB.
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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2018, 05:33:13 am »
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And 69.9% voted? That's quite good turnout for Finland, especially given that everyone knew who would win this election.

Presidential elections nowadays always have higher turnout than parliamentary ones, last time there was lower turnout in presidential elections than this was in 1950 (of course voting for electoral college isn't all that comparable)
Why is that?
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Aboa
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« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2018, 07:23:26 am »
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And 69.9% voted? That's quite good turnout for Finland, especially given that everyone knew who would win this election.

Presidential elections nowadays always have higher turnout than parliamentary ones, last time there was lower turnout in presidential elections than this was in 1950 (of course voting for electoral college isn't all that comparable)
Why is that?

Usual explanation is that presidential elections have become increasingly more personalized instead of party-centered since the 80's. Also I'd guess that having a clear left-right choice and clear winner instead of opaque post-election coalition building of the parliamentary elections plays part.
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Bojicat
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« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2018, 09:24:40 am »
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Somewhat of note aside Niinisto's large shadow is the surprising third-place finish of the attractive Laura Huhtasaari, "Finland's Marine LePen." She may have 'legs' post-Niinisto.
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