By Enrique Tessieri
With all of the votes counted, the presidential election went pretty much as the polls had predicted. Kokoomus’ Sauli Niinistö, the front-runner, won with37.0%. Second place was a head-and-head race, a semi-cliffhanger, with Pekka Haavisto of the Greens (18.8%) beating Paavo Väyrynen of the Center Party (17.5%).
The result means that there will be a second round on February 5 since no candidate got over 50% of the votes.
Contrary to the April 17 election, when the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party obtained its historic victory thanks to anti-EU and anti-immigration sentiment, the presidential election went in the opposite direction. The two anti-EU candidates, Väyrynen and PS’ Timo Soini (9.4%), came in third and fourth place, respectively.
The other loser was the left. Paavo Lipponen of the Social Democrats got 6.7% of the votes with Paavo Arhimäki of the Left Alliance gaining 5.5%.
The candidates that came in seventh and eight place were Swedish People’s Party hopeful Eva Biaudet, who got 2.7%, while Sari Essayah of the Christian Democrats got 2.5%.