Finnish parliamentary election, 1970
Parliamentary elections were held in Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 on 15 and 16 March 1970.


Social Democrat Mauno Koivisto had replaced his party leader Rafael Paasio as Prime Minister in March 1968. His government was very broad-based, including the Social Democrats, Centrists, Communists, Swedish People's Party and Social Democratic opposition. Over four-fifths of the parliamentary deputies belonged to the governing parties. Koivisto's government implemented some liberal reforms, including the sale of medium-strength beer in the grocery stores and kiosks, and abortion on demand (allowed also for social reasons, in addition to medical ones). The government did help the Finnish economy to grow by pursuing its predecessor's policies of subsidies to for example export companies and fixed-term public works or government-funded jobs. Also the centralized incomes agreements between the employers' organizations, labour unions and government became a part of the Finnish "consensus" (broad agreement) politics. On the other hand, quickly proceeding urbanization and industrialization caused many young people and young adults to leave from the countryside, and tens of thousands of Finns moved to Sweden in pursuit of a higher standard of living. Especially the small farmers (farmers who owned little land and had little or no cattle) were severely hurt, and particularly in eastern and northern Finland. The populist Rural Party benefited from this discontent, and its charismatic leader, former Assistant Finance Minister and presidential candidate, Veikko Vennamo accused the "old parties" (Social Democrats, Centrists, Communists and National Coalitioners) of deliberately worsening the farmers' living standards, emptying the countryside and appeasing the Soviet Union too much by, for example, discouraging its open criticism in the Finnish political debate and media. The increasing mocking and criticism of Christianity, traditional family values, patriotism, army and military service, and parents' and teachers' authority also somewhat helped the Ruralists and National Coalitioners to score so big gains in this election. These opposition parties were irritated by for example the student radicals' "conquest" of the Old University Students' House in Helsinki in November 1968. In the end, Koivisto's government suffered heavy losses, totaling over 20 deputies, but it still had a majority. Kekkonen allowed the National Coalition's leader Juha Rihtniemi to try to form a new government. He was unable to form a majority government, and Kekkonen refused to allow him to form a minority centre-right government, claiming that such a government would fail in foreign policy (in other words, it would not gain the Soviet Union's trust). From May to July 1970, the Liberal city manager of Helsinki, Teuvo Aura, led a caretaker government. Long-time Foreign Minister Ahti Karjalainen managed to form a new centre-left majority government in July 1970, which excluded the National Coalitioners and Ruralists from power. One notable demographic change of these parliamentary elections was the election of several young (under 30-year-old) deputies, reflecting the rising political activity of young Finns (the baby boomers), and the lowering of minimum voting age to 20 years.


Turnout 82.2% −2.7

party seats votes
proportion amount
Social Democratic Party of Finland
Social Democratic Party of Finland
The Social Democratic Party of Finland is one of the three major political parties in Finland, along with the Centre Party and the National Coalition Party. Jutta Urpilainen is the current SDP leader. The party has been in the Finnish government cabinet for long periods and has set many...

52 −3 23.43% −3.8 594,185 −51,154
National Coalition Party 37 +11 18.05% +4.3 457,582 +130,654
Centre Party
Centre Party (Finland)
The Centre Party is a centrist and Nordic agrarian political party in Finland. It is one of the four largest political parties in the country, along with the Social Democratic Party , the National Coalition Party and the True Finns , and currently has 35 seats in the Finnish Parliament...

36 −13 17.12% −4.1 434,150 −68,897
Finnish People's Democratic League
Finnish People's Democratic League
Finnish People's Democratic League was a Finnish political organisation with the aim of uniting those left of the Finnish Social Democratic Party...

36 −5 16.58% −4.6 420,556 −81,818
Rural Party of Finland 18 +17 10.49% +9.5 265,939 +241,588
Liberal People's Party
Liberals (Finland)
Liberals is a free market liberal party in Finland. Founded in 1965 as a reunification of the People's Party of Finland and Liberal League. Originally named Liberal People's Party , it restyled its name as Liberals in 2000....

8 −1 5.95% −0.5 150,823 −2,436
Swedish People's Party 11 - 5.34% −0.4 135,465 +633
Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders −7 1.40% −1.2 35,453 −25,821
Christian League of Finland
Christian Democrats (Finland)
The Christian Democrats is a Christian democratic political party in Finland. Formerly known as the Finnish Christian League , the Christian Democrats have six seats in the Finnish Parliament and one in the European Parliament.The party was founded in 1958, chiefly from the Christian faction of...

1 +1 1.13% +0.7 28,547 +17,901
Åländsk Samling 1 - 0.35% +0.1 8,971 +1,853
Entrepreneur Party 0.01% 248
Others 0.15% 3,863
Total 200 - 100% 2,535,782 +165,736
Source: Tilastokeskus 2004; Votes of the Entrepreneur Party only in print.
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