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Monday's papers: Election night's winners and losers

Who had a good night and who... didn't? Monday's papers pick through the local election results.

Antti Häkkänen, Juhana Vartiainen ja Elina Valtonen kokoomuksen vaalivalvojaisissa.
The NCP's Juhana Vartiainen is likely to take the Helsinki mayoralty, seeing off competition from the Greens' Anni Sinnemäki. Image: Lehtikuva

All eyes are on the results of Sunday's local elections, as Monday's papers pick their way through the stream of results nationwide.

Who were the winners?

According to Swedish-language Hufvudstadsbladet, it was a good night for the National Coalition Party (NCP), which topped the poll.

"The NCP has see-sawed in the polls this spring, which is touch-and-go for a party leader," the paper writes.

"The NCP won - [party leader Petteri] Orpo can breathe easy," it added.

But while the NCP came first in Sunday's local elections, its percentage of the vote nationwide fell slightly, down 0.7 percent on its 2017 result.

Story continues after photo.

Petteri Orpo iloitsi kokoomuksen menestyksestä kuntavaaleissa 13. kesäkuuta.
NCP leader Petteri Orpo was in a jubilant mood on Sunday night. Image: Mikko Stig/ Lehtikuva

However, overall voter turnout was also down this year, at just over 55 percent.

"Low turnouts usually mean the NCP wins – and that's how it went this time," HBL writes.

NCP leader Orpo had a different diagnosis: "Voters want a change from the government's line. The NCP was a clear alternative to that," he said.

As it happened: catch up with our election day live blog here.

Finns Party the biggest vote gainer

With all the votes counted the Finns Party was by far the biggest vote gainer of election night, polling 5.6 percent higher than in 2017.

But according to Helsingin Sanomat's analysis, even that result might have come as a disappointment to a party that currently tops the national polls. It remained in fourth place nationally once all municipal seats were accounted for.

"The rise to more than 14 percent was important symbolically. The Finns are a big municipal party, full stop. It raises the party's influence and significance.

"However, expectations were higher, at 15-16 percent," HS writes.

Story continues after photo.

Lulu Ranne halasi Halla-ahoa.
While the Finns Party saw the biggest rise in vote share, the party had wanted to do even better. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Election analyst Jussi Westinen told the paper that the Finns struggled on a local level as the party was associated more with "big picture" national politics.

"One explanation is that municipal elections are ultimately just not perceived by party supporters as being as important as parliamentary elections. The most important issues such as the EU, internationalism, immigration, 'voting back the good old Finland' and values-based issues are more national politics," Westinen said.

Election results in your area: see your local winners and losers here.

A tough night for the SDP

All five of the governing parties lost seats in this year's local elections, with only the Swedish People's Party (SPP) managing a tiny increase in its vote share of 0.1 percent.

"All in all, it was an unusual, digital, remote campaign," Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) told Iltalehti. Marin's party came second overall, but fell back 1.7 percent from its 2017 result.

Story continues after photo.

Mikkelin SDP:n vaalivalvojaistilaisuudesta 2021 kuvaa. Kuvassa SDP:n ääniä fläppitaululla pääministeri Sanna Marinin silmäin alla.
PM Sanna Marin appears on screen during a disappointing election night for the SDP. Image: Jaana Polamo / Yle
SDP parliamentary group chair Antti Lindtman told the tabloid the local elections had not been entirely fought on local issues.

"Of course, there were many other issues than those related to municipal services in the election debates over the last few weeks," Lindtman said.

Asked if the recent furore over PM Marin's meals had contributed to the party's poor showing, Lindtman said it was possibly a factor.

"At least it had the effect of taking space away from other issues. In any case, it was a highly unusual election, a summer election, and the election issues were out of the ordinary," he said.

Surprise Green win in the west

A torrid night for the largest governing party was especially pronounced in the traditional SDP stronghold of Pori. The drop in the party's support in the west coast city was almost three times the national average, according to local paper Satakunnan Kansa.

While the SDP's loss was the Finns Party's gain – a trend reflected nationwide – the Green Party also performed well in the city, with lead candidate Timo Aro landing more votes than any other.

"There is no adjective that adequately describes how exceptional it is that Pori's vote magnet is a Green," Satakunnan Kansa writes.

According to the paper, the Greens' focus on local issues was key to the party's success in Pori, drawing left-leaning voters from other parties.

Aro's win in Pori also hints at a future shift in local politics in the western province.

"Aro's personal popularity opens up the possibility that in the next parliamentary elections the Greens may seek to win a seat in Satakunta," Satakunnan Kansa writes.

Drama in Tampere

Sunday's vote count in Tampere saw the NCP take the city mayoralty after a nail biting count which saw MP and former city mayor Anna-Kaisa Ikonen oust SDP incumbent Lauri Lyly by just 26 votes.

Both parties will be on the edge of their seats today as city officials begin the confirmation count of the votes, before submitting the final results.

Story continues after image.

NCP and SDP almost neck and neck in Tampere, on 24.2 and 24.3 percent respectively.
The SDP and NCP were almost neck-and-neck in Tampere Image: Graphic: Yle

"Now that the difference is so small, if there are many individual differences and they go the same way it could still change the overall result," Tampere Election Committee chair Juha Perämaa told Aamulehti.

"It is certainly worth waiting to see what the final result will be," Perämaa said.

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