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Five things to know about the county council election results

The 21 new county councils start work in March. People across Finland voted for the new bodies, with the exception of Åland and Helsinki. 

SDP leader Sanna Marin, NCP chair Petteri Orpo and Centre Party leader Annika Saarikko watch the incoming county council election results on 23 January 2022. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

On Sunday Finland elected 21 new county councils, or 'wellbeing services regions', which will manage health and social care and emergency services in their areas. They start work in March.

There were nearly 1,400 county councillor spots up for grabs in the elections. The count was concluded around 2am on Monday morning, and official results are scheduled to be confirmed on 26 January when local election committees will have updated the Ministry of Justice system with their results.

Some 1.86 million people voted in the elections.

1. The result

The clear winner of Finland's first county council elections was the National Coalition Party, which got 21.6 percent of the vote.

The battle for second spot was tight, with the Social Democrats getting 19.3 percent to edge out the Centre Party on 19.2 percent.

The Finns Party were left behind in fourth place at 11.1 percent of the vote. The Left Alliance got eight percent, the Greens 7.4 percent, the Swedish People's Party 4.9 percent, the Christian Democrats 4.2 percent and Movement now took 1.8 percent of the vote.

The new party Power Belongs to the People got 1.3 percent of the vote nationwide, while other parties took 1.1 percent.

Eight candidates from other 'independent' lists got through in Central Uusimaa, South Karelia and Lapland.

No other parties that do not have an MP made it through.

2. Elected councillors' gender and age distribution

Some 53 percent of those elected to serve on the new councils will be women, and 47 percent are men.

There were more women candidates in these elections than in the municipal elections, but women were still a minority of candidates overall.

The average age of those elected is 51, and the largest single age cohort is the 35-49 age group, which covers 497 of those elected. The second largest age group is those aged 50-64, which saw 467 people elected.

3. Turnout

The turnout figure was 47.5 percent, which is well below the 55.1 percent turnout seen in last summer's municipal elections.

The lowest turnout was seen in the Vantaa and Kerava region, which was the only council area with participation below 40 percent.

The highest turnout was seen in Ostrobothnia, where 53.8 percent of those entitled to vote cast their ballots.

Luoto was the municipality with the highest voter participation, at 66.6 percent. In Vantaa, just 38 percent cast a vote.

4. Municipalities where no candidates got through

Although in several county councils there is a representative from every municipality in the region, lots of municipalities were left without a representative on 13 of the new bodies.

You can read more details, including a full list, in this story.

5. Election vote magnets

In Finland's electoral system, candidates that have a big personal following are very important. These elections were no different, and Left Alliance leader Li Andersson was the best-supported candidate nationwide with nearly 7,800 votes in Southwest Finland.

In second spot was Aki Lindén, who also ran in Southwest Finland and got 7,701 votes.

Swedish People's Party vice-chair Henrik Wickström and NCP candidate Mia Laihio also both got more than 5,000 votes. Both were running in Western Uusimaa.