When are the elections taking place?
Election day is April 17. Polling stations are open on that day from 9 am to 8 pm.
Advance voting in Finland takes place between April 6 and 12, while advance voting abroad is April 6-9. Citizens overseas can vote at the nearest Finnish Embassy or Consulate.
Who can vote?
Every Finnish citizen over the age of 18. The voting register will be compiled on March 2.
Who can become a candidate?
Any Finnish citizen who is over the age of 18 and not under guardianship.
Those holding military office cannot stand to be elected, while the Chancellor of Justice of the Government, the Parliamentary Ombudsman, a Justice of the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court, and the Prosecutor-General cannot run without resigning from office.
How many seats are there in Parliament?
200. Finland is divided into 15 electoral districts, and the number of representatives elected from each district is proportional to the number of people who live there.
What are the electoral districts?
Helsinki, Uusimaa, Varsinais-Suomi, Satakunta, Häme, Pirkanmaa, Kymi, South Savo, North Savo, North Karelia, Vaasa, Central Finland, Oulu, Lapland and Åland.
The electoral districts of Helsinki and Uusimaa normally produce the highest number of MPs. Only one can be elected from the semi-autonomous maritime province of Åland.
The vote is cast for a particular candidate from an electoral district, as opposed to a party as a whole.
What are the main political parties running for the election?
The liberal conservative National Coalition Party is the most popular party with 19.8 voter backing in the latest MTV3 poll results. Its leader, Jyrki Katainen, now Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, is widely expected to take over as premier.
The main opposition Social Democratic Party, led by MP Jutta Urpilainen, had 17.3 percent of public support in the MTV3 survey. The current Prime Minister, Mari Kiviniemi, has led the Centre Party (19.3 percent voter backing) and the government since last June.
The populist True Finns, led by MEP Timo Soini, have rapidly gained popularity over the last year, with their support ratings rising to 17 percent, making the traditional ‘Big Three’ parties into a new ‘Big Four’.
The Green League, now a junior government partner, has a voter backing of 9.2 percent, while the opposition Left Alliance enjoys 7.3 percent support.
The Swedish People’s Party, a perennial minor government partner, and the opposition Christian Democrats of Finland close the list of the main parties with 4.1 and 4.0 percent backing respectively.
How many seats do these parties have now?
The National Coalition Party has 51 MPs while the Centre Party has 50 following a recent defection to the True Finns. The Social Democratic Party has 45 seats. The Left Alliance has 17 while the Greens have 14. The Swedish People’s Party has 10 seats and the Christian Democrats have seven. The True Finns currently have the fewest MPs: six.
When does the current parliamentary term end?
The mandate of the current Parliament ends on April 12, but the last parliamentary session is on March 15.
When will the results be confirmed?
On April 20.
Who has the main responsibility for holding the elections?
Finland’s Ministry of Justice. More information about the elections is available in English online.