Center-left party wins Finland parliamentary election
Finland’s parliamentary election results show the Social Democratic Party (SDP) winning with 17.7% of the votes, according to CNN’s local affiliate Italehti.
The tight race saw the anti-immigration right-wing Finns Party come in second place with 17.5%, while their coalition partners the National Coalition Party, and the Center Party scored 17% and 13.8% respectively, Italehti reported.
According to Reuters, this is the first time in a century that no party has won more than 20% in an election, and coalition talks are likely to be protracted.
All centre-left and left-wing parties saw an increase in their vote, with the Green League coming in fifth with 11.5% of the vote, followed by the Left Alliance at 8.2%.
Between them, the three left-leaning parties should return 76 lawmakers, according to Italehti’s estimates, short of a majority in Finland’s 200-seat parliament, meaning a governing coalition will likely have to include one of the main centrist parties.
SDP Chairman Antti Rinne, as leader of the largest party, will have first shot at forming a government, and at becoming the first left-wing prime minister in Finland since 2003.
In a speech Sunday, former union boss Rinne thanked party members for their hard campaign work.
“For the first time since 1999 we are the largest party in Finland … SDP is the prime minister’s party,” he told supporters in central Helsinki, Reuters reported.
CNN’s James Griffiths contributed to this report.