Stubb Wins First Round of Finland's Presidential Election

Stubb Wins First Round of Finland's Presidential Election
Image copyright: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The Facts

  • Following the completion of preliminary calculations, former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb has won the first round of Finland's presidential election, receiving 27.2% of the popular vote.

  • With a total turnout of 74.9% (~3.3M votes), Stubb received approximately 882K votes in total, followed by Pekka Haavisto (836K votes, ~26%), Jussi Halla-aho (615K votes, ~19%), and Olli Rehn (497K votes, ~15%).

The Spin

Right narrative

A second round of Voting places Stubb in the driving seat to be Finland's next president. While Stubb and Pekka Haavisto finished neck-and-neck, Finland's center-right voter bloc far supersedes the progressive and alternative options that the SDP appeals to. The cumulative total of Finland's left-wing voting base from the first round reaches only approximately 35% — simply not enough to take him over the line. In order to become president, Pekka Haavisto must convince a sizeable proportion of the right-wing population that he is the man to lead Finland forward — a task much easier said than done.

Left narrative

Haarvisto's candidacy has survived the threat of the populist Halla-aho's recent polling surge and remains in the fight to historically become Finland's first openly gay president. An underdog for the entirety of the campaign trail, Pekka Haavisto's entry into the run-off should be considered in itself a success — and given the importance of the role of president, there should be a sigh of relief that populism will not be allowed to direct the country's future.

Establishment-critical narrative

While the Finnish people will get to decide the next president, the survival of both establishment candidates will be a bitter blow for the average citizen. The reality is that over half of Finns wanted to see neither Stubb nor Haavisto continue to bow to the EU and ignore Finland's damaging loss of self-determination. The winning candidate will be the one that listens to the outcries of the people best, and pledges once again to put Finland first.

Political split



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