Finland Social Democrat party won the general election on Sunday with 17.7 percent of the vote for the first time since 20 years.
Finland’s leftist Social Democrat party (SDP) leader Antti Rinne has declared victory in Sunday’s general election after results showed his party winning by a very tight margin with 17.7 percent.
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"For the first time since 1999, we are the largest party in Finland ... SDP is the prime minister party," Rinne said. The party is planning to form a government "before the end of May," he continued.
The nationalist and eurosceptic Finns Party was in second place with 17.5 percent, according to final results published by the ministry of justice.
The Social Democrats won 40 seats in the 200-seat parliament while Finns Party won 38 seats. The leftist party will probably form a coalition with the Green Party which won 11.5 percent of the vote, an outstanding result. The Left Alliance increased their score since the last election in 2015 and gained 8.2 percent of the vote.
For the first time in a century, no party won more than 20 percent in a general election.
During his mandate, Juha Sipila, the current Prime Minister from the centrist party, implemented austerity measures such as freezing pensions and cuts in social support which led to the growing popularity of the Social Democrat party, analyzed BBC.
The Social Democrats campaigned mainly on Finland's welfare system. Rinne described Sipila's policies as unfair and said taxes needed to be raised to combat inequality. Climate change and immigration were also central issues.
With the European Parliament election less than two months away, the Finnish ballot is being watched in Brussels. Eurosceptic and nationalist parties have announced that they would be joining forces to influence European Union policy.