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Fewer women, more youngsters in new Parliament

The number of female members in the 200-seat Finnish legislature has dropped by three to 83. Meanwhile the number of those under 30 rose by the same margin.

Kokoomuksen kansanedustajaehdokas Jaana Pelkonen tyytyväisenä puolueen vaalivalvojaisissa ravintola Maxinessa Helsingissä.
The most popular female candidate was Jaana Pelkonen, with nearly 16,000 votes. The former TV host was all smiles at the National Coalition election party at Helsinki's Maxine restaurant. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

In 1907, Finland was the first European country to allow women to run for the national legislature, while it was still an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire. In 2011, Finns elected a record 86 women as MPs out of a total 200 seats in the Eduskunta or Parliament.

Sunday’s vote brought a setback for female politicians, though, with just 83 elected – three less than in the outgoing Parliament and one less than in the 2007-2011 house.

Younger candidates took a step forward, though. A dozen candidates under 30 were voted in, three more than in the last election. There are now 34 MPs under 35, just over half of them men. The age group best represented in the national body are those aged 50-65, who have 77 age-mates in Parliament. There are 15 over the age of 65.

More than two thirds of the new MPs have university-level educations. And a vast majority – 153 – are parents.

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