No cliffhangers in today presidential election in Finland

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Finns go to the polls today vote elect their next president. Opinion polls reveal that Kokoomus’ Sauli Niinistö is the front-runner followed by a close neck-and-neck race between Pekka Haavisto of the Greens and Paavo Väyrynen of the Center Party.

The second group that are fighting it out for fourth spot according to a YLE poll are Perussuomalaiset (PS) party hopeful Timo Soini, Left Alliances’ Paavo Arhimäki and Paavo Lipponen of the Social Democratic Party.

After the PS historic election victory on April 17, falling behind Arhimäki or Lipponen would be seen as a big loss for Soini. It would reinforce the wear-and-tear that the PS has suffered nine months after the election due to numerous scandals that have exposed the racism, homophobia and anti-democratic credentials of some of its MPs.

There was as well the hacked neo-Nazi Suomen Kansalinen Vastarinta (SKV) membership that revealed two PS  members Both are still working for the party as if nothing had happened.

One of the biggest disappointments of the presidential campaign has been tackling and debating the hard challenges that Finland faces: budget cuts and the future of the welfare state, growing income and social inequality, racism and the polarization of Finnish society.

One of the matters that concerned me in particular about the front-runner Niinistö was his view that the far right did not pose a threat to Finland, according to an MTV3 poll of the candidates.

After 8pm local time we’ll be a bit wiser about who are the victors and losers of the presidential election.

One matter is for certain, however: the election will not be a cliffhanger like last year’s parliamentary election.

  1. Allan

    The hardest challenge is the EU financial crisis and its ramifications – it will effect the budget and the polarisation or rather the income gap. However the president can not muc effect internal or federal issues, the prime minister does that. The second issue, which actually is in the president’s mandate, is Russia and the relations with the successor of the “friendly nation”.

    It is interesting though you dismissed the two female candidates. Can your machismo not handle Essayah or Biaudet, or are you afraid of offending your multicultural readers? Granted, they’re lightweight, Essayah is from the “wrong party” even she has a head on her sholders, and Biaudet is unqualified even for her current job, a political token – she will probably make a percentage of 0. + her IQ.

    The biggest loser it seems is going to be old Moses, who if he loses to Arhinmäki will have to go behind his bush and shout “pöö”. Soini and Väyrynen might be at par, Väyrynen has his baggage, but a lot of the young crowd never read nor experienced his schemings.

    The lowest betting odds are for the pair Niinistö & Haavisto, but Niinistö is not expecting the landslide as in the elections he understandably withdrew from.

  2. Question

    PS mistake was having a candidate that could be the next prime minster.Which put people of voting for Timo due to the fear of him winning.

    • Enrique

      Question, are you serious? Do you really think that people did not want to vote for Soini because they feared losing him as PS chairman? Come on… He lost because his policies and persona didn’t convince voters.

  3. Question

    PS mistake was having a candidate that could be the next prime minster which put people of voting for Timo due to the fear of him possibly winning.

    Had they chosen another candidate that would be a better indication of the true support for PS since the election as there would be no fear in voting for that candidate

  4. Allan

    PS should have gone and supported Väyrynen. Jugner just said that Lipponen made good headway… I mean really, he promised to quit if Lipponen didn’t make it to the 2nd round.

    • Enrique

      The PS better start worrying because the result was very bad for the PS and a good one for the Center Party. Why? It showed that people are getting tired of the racism, anti-EU rhetoric (criticize-but-can’t-give-you-a-solution approach) and members belonging to neo-Nazi associations like SKV. Probably the tipping point is the stark reality that the PS doesn’t have any sound idea to solve the major challenges Finland faces except blow a lot of populist hot air.

    • Enrique

      –And you reckon if Matti Vanhanen had been the candidate the numbers would have been the same?

      Nope. I think Väyrynen’s 17.5% was a good showing for the Center Party and must have sent some ripples to the PS.

  5. Question

    People still don’t trust the center party it was their support for the eu instead of the wishes of their citizens on the bailout issues which brought their government down.

    Väyrynen may take a more anti eu line but are Finnish voters willing to get behind the party this soon or is another term in opposition seen as their punishment