Sipilä government weaker after regional elections in Finland

MARKKU OJALA

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila (L) and Minister for European Affairs Sampo Terho (R) give a press conference to inform of the future of the ruling colaition government in Helsinki, Finland, 13 June 2017. The Finnish Prime Minister's government coalition announced 12 June 2017, that it would no longer include the nationalist Finns Party. The True Finns party parliamentary group has now was split and 22 members of the party formed a new parliamentary group called New Alternative.

Sipilä government weaker after regional elections in Finland


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Two out of three parties of the Juha Sipilä cabinet saw their electoral results tumble in regional elections on Sunday.

The biggest losses were for the liberals and the far-right.

The far-right populist Finns Party has continued its downward electoral spiral, going from 17,7% in 2012 and 12,3% in 2015 to 8,3%. The election of the extremist MEP Jussi Halla-aho as its leader did not do much to stop its downward spiral.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Centre Party has also seen its support drop from 21,1 in 2015 to 17.7% on Sunday.

However, the winner of Sunday’s election in the center right is the traditional National Coalition Party, which gained 20,6% of the vote. That is markedly better than the 18,2% of the national elections in 2015. Moreover, the party did exceptionally well in Helsinki, electing Van Vapaavuori as its mayor.

Overall, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Greens, and the Left have made considerable gains compared to 2015. SPD went from 16,5% to 19,4%, while the Greens went from 8,5% to 12,4%. The Left Alliance has also gained a full percentage point gaining 8.8%.

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