Eight candidates took part in the election, seven of whom were nominated by parties and one by a voters' association. Two of the candidates also participated in the previous Presidential election in 2000. They were the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, the present President Tarja Halonen and Heidi Hautala of the Green League. A total of 3,016,801 accepted ballots were cast in the election.
The candidates of the three biggest parties, Tarja Halonen, Sauli Niinistö and Matti Vanhanen collected nearly 90 per cent of all votes cast. None of the candidates received over 50 per cent of all votes, for which reason the president will be elected in the second round.
|Tarja Halonen, the candidate of the Left, won the
first round of the Presidential election with 1,397,030 votes
cast, which was 46.3 per cent of the accepted ballots.
She received the highest number of votes in all
15 constituencies of the country. In three constituencies she
gained more than one half of all votes cast: in the constituencies
of Åland (69.4%), Satakunta (52.2%) and
Häme (50.0%). Halonen was officially the candidate of the
Social Democratic Party, but the Left Alliance also announced
publicly its support for Halonen.
The support for Halonen was 22.2 percentage points (671,164 votes) higher than that of Sauli Niinistö, who became second in the election.
Compared with the previous Presidential election, the support for Tarja Halonen was 6.3 percentage points higher than in 2000.
In the Parliamentary elections 2003 the combined support for the Social Democratic Party and the Left Alliance was 34.4 per cent, so the support for Tarja Halonen was clearly higher than the combined support of her backing parties in 2003.
|Sauli Niinistö, the National Coalition Party
candidate, was the other winner in the election by making it to the
second round of the election. He received 725,866 votes, or
24.1 per cent of all votes cast. Niinistö did best in the
southern constituencies of the country. He gained around one third
of the votes in the constituencies of Helsinki (32.5%) and
Uusimaa (30.6%). In addition to these, his other strong areas
were the constituencies of Varsinais-Suomi (27.2%),
Pirkanmaa (26.5%) and Häme (25.7%), where his support
percentage was greater than his average for the whole
The difference between Niinistö and Vanhanen was 5.5 percentage points and 163,876 votes in favour of Niinistö.
The number of votes cast for Sauli Niinistö and his voting percentage well exceeded the result gained by the National Coalition Party in the previous Parliamentary elections. The support for Niinistö was 5.5 percentage points greater and he received 207,962 more votes than the National Coalition Party in 2003.
|The candidate of the Centre Party of Finland, Matti
Vanhanen became third in the election with 18.6 per cent
of all votes cast. He received 561,990 votes. Vanhanen was
most successful in the constituencies of Oulu (33.5%) and
Lapland (31.2%). He also gained more votes than average for
the whole country in the constituencies of
North Savo (29.1%), Vaasa (28.8%),
North Karelia (27.6%), South Savo (27.3%) and
Central Finland (22.8%). In all these his support
remained clearly below the normal support received by the Centre
The support of Vanhanen by constituency was opposite to that of Niinistö; strong areas for Niinistö were weak for Vanhanen and vice versa.
The total result of Vanhanen was 6.1 percentage points below the support of the Centre Party in the Parliamentary elections 2003, when the Centre Party became the biggest party with 24.7 per cent of all votes cast.
|Heidi Hautala, the candidate of the Green League,
gained 105,248 votes, or 3.5 per cent of all votes
cast. She was most successful in the constituency of Helsinki,
where she gained 7.8 per cent of all votes cast
(26,335 votes) and in the constituency of
Uusimaa, 4.2 per cent of votes cast (21,230
Heidi Hautala also took part in the previous Presidential election in 2000. Her election result was then almost the same as now, 100,740 votes and 3.3 per cent of votes cast.
Compared with the previous Parliamentary elections the support for the Green League candidate was clearly lower in all constituencies (excl. the constituency of Vaasa) than the support for the party. The total support for the Green League in the 2003 Parliamentary elections was 8.0 per cent.
|The candidate of the True Finns party, Timo Soini
received 103,492 votes, which was 3.4 per cent of
all votes cast. The support for Soini was almost equal to that of
Hautala on the level of the whole country, but by area their
support differed from one another. Soini collected votes evenly
from all round Finland and most clearly his support was behind that
of Hautala in the constituencies of Helsinki and Uusimaa. He gained
the best result in the constituency of North Karelia,
4.9 per cent of all votes, in total
Compared with the 2003 Parliamentary elections, Soini achieved a good result as the number of votes cast for him was over double that of the True Finns.
|The candidate of the Christian Democrats in
Finland, Bjarne Kallis gained 61,483 votes, which was
2.0 per cent of all votes cast. Kallis received the best
election result in the constituency of Vaasa, where he got
5.2 per cent of all votes (13,132 votes).
The support for Kallis was 3.3 percentage points lower than the support for the Christian Democrats in the Parliamentary elections 2003.
|Henrik Lax, the candidate of the Swedish People's
Party received 48,703 votes, which was 1.6 per cent
of all votes cast. Lax gained the best election result in the
constituency of Vaasa, 6.4 per cent of all votes, a
total of 16,163 votes.
The result of Henrik Lax was modest compared with the normal support gained by the Swedish People's Party that nominated him, particularly because the support for him was low even in Swedish-speaking areas with conventionally strong support for the Swedish People's Party. For example, in the constituency of Vaasa, the number of votes cast for him remained 12.2 percentage points lower than that received by the Swedish People's Party in the Parliamentary elections. In the 2003 Parliamentary elections the support for the party was 4.6 per cent in the whole country.
|Arto Lahti gained 12,989 votes, which was 0.4 per cent of all votes cast. Lahti was the only candidate not belonging to a party. He was backed by a voters' association of 20,000 people having nominated him as their candidate.|
Last updated 19.1.2006
Contents (Presidential elections 2006)