Today is the voting day for municipal elections. Polls are open until 20.00. If you haven’t voted in advance, this is your chance to have your say – but you’ll need to do it at the specific voting station named on your voting card. Results will come out from 20.00. It will be interesting to see if the Centre party’s performance will be poor. The Social Democrats are also going to their first election since their new leader Jutta Urpilainen took office in the summer; what reaction will the party-base make if, as tipped, they also perform badly? According to opinion polls, it’s the National Coalition Kokoomus party who should be looking forward to making the best progress.
In Swedish-speaking Finland, will the Swedish Peoples’ Party SFP manage to hold its ground; in the south, it’s faced with the challenge of demographics: as more Finnish speakers arrive, the proportion of Swedish speakers (and thus likely SFP voters) falls. How will they do in the newly merged municipalities, such as Svenskfinland’s soon to be largest town Raseborg which for the first time will go to the polls united in preparation for the 1 January merger. Will the new Swedish-speaking district of the Centre party led by the highly controversial Peter Albäck succeed in gaining ground anywhere outside his own home municipality of Kronoby? And, will the right-wing populist anti-Swedish True Finns party perform well enough to end up with a higher share of the national vote than the SFP and thus risk taking the only Swedish-speaking seat on the board of the National Association of Municipalities?
More analysis to follow after the results are known!
And, yes, Svenskfinland in English is back in business after a quiet patch (due to generally high work levels and also a 2 week holiday in the sun). Apologies if you’ve e-mailed lately and I haven’t got back to you – I shall do so soon.
Image: Ministry of Justice. Election results for all municipalities will be published as they come in on the Justice Ministry’s elections website.