Finland's PM defeated by conservatives in intense three-way race for control of parliament

3 April 2023, 05:45

Sanna Marin increased her party's seats and secured 19.9% of the vote, despite her defeat
Sanna Marin increased her party's seats and secured 19.9% of the vote, despite her defeat. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin has lost her bid for a second term in power, with her centre-left party defeated by Finnish conservative leader Petteri Orpo.

The centre-right National Coalition Party won the election on Sunday evening with 20.8 per cent of the vote, ahead of right-wing populists Finns Party and Ms Marin's centre-left.

The populists won a record 20.1 per cent of the votes, while Ms Marin's centre-left increased its number of seats and secured 19.9 per cent of the vote.

"Based on this result, talks over forming a new government in Finland will be initiated under the leadership of the National Coalition Party," Mr Orpo said as he claimed victory surrounded by fellow supporters.

Sanna Marin concedes the election
Sanna Marin concedes the election. Picture: Getty
The National Coalition Chairman Petteri Orpo speaks to supporters at the party's parliamentary election party
The National Coalition Chairman Petteri Orpo speaks to supporters at the party's parliamentary election party. Picture: Getty

Shortly after Mr Orpo claimed his party's victory, the centre-left leader conceded the election.

"Congratulations to the winner of the elections, congratulations to the National Coalition Party, congratulations to the Finns Party. Democracy has spoken," she said.

Read More: Finland one step closer to joining NATO after Turkey ratifies accession

Read More: Finland is the world's happiest nation for sixth year running - as Nordic nations dominate while Britain falls

Meanwhile, Finns Party leader Riikka Purra said she was delighted as her party secured the best result in its history.

"We're still challenging to be number one, but seven more seats is an excellent result."

Finns Party chair Riikka Purra speaks to members of the international media at Pikkuparlamentti during an official election event
Finns Party chair Riikka Purra speaks to members of the international media at Pikkuparlamentti during an official election event. Picture: Getty

It comes after an intense three-way race for control of Finland's parliament, with all three parties near-level in the polls for several weeks.

Ms Marin has been praised as one of Europe's youngest leaders, with praise for her handling of the Covid pandemic, as well as overseeing Finland's successful application to join NATO.

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