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European Parliament election, 1996 (Finland): Wikis


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The European Parliament election of 1996 in Finland was the first election of the Finnish delegation to the European Parliament.




In 1996, Finland had a population of 5.1 million (4.1 million voters). The government was a broad coalition led by the social democrat Mr Paavo LIPPONEN. The governing coalition consisted of: the Social Democrats (SDP), The National Coalition Party (Kokoomus), the Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto), The Swedish People's Party (RKP) and the Greens (Vihreä liitto).

Composition before election

  • ELDR Group (6): Elisabeth REHN, Mirja RYYNÄNEN*, Olli Ilmari REHN*, Paavo VÄYRYNEN*, Seppo PELTTARI, Timo Juhani JÄRVILAHTI.
  • PES Group (4): Mikko RÖNNHOLM*, Riitta MYLLER*, Saara-Maria PAAKKINEN, Ulpu IIVARI*.
  • EPP Group (4): Pirjo RUSANEN*, Riitta JOUPPILA*, Ritva Tellervo LAURILA*, Kyösti TOIVONEN*
  • EUL/NGL Group (1): Marjatta STENIUS-KAUKONEN.
  • Green Group (1): Heidi HAUTALA*.

An asterisk (*) indicates Members standing for re-election.

Electoral system


All Finnish citizens that were 18 years old on the election day at the latest, were eligible to vote. They did not have to register as it was done automatically by the authorities. Other citizens of the European Union who had a domicile in Finland on the 30th August 1996 were eligible to vote, although they had to register as voters in Finland and confirm that they did not vote in any other Member State during the elections in 1994 and 1995, and would not vote in Austria in 1996.

According to the Finnish Population Register Centre (Väestrekisterikeskus) there were at the end of August 1996 some 72600 foreigners living in Finland. Biggest national groups willing to vote were the Swedes, the Germans and the British. The final date for the registration was the 15th of August 1996.

In June Väestrekisterikeskus approached with an official letter all the EU nationals living in Finland. The letter was in Finnish, Swedish. English, French and German.

In the European elections candidates could be nominated by the registered political parties and citizens' groups. The parties could do the nomination automatically. The other groups had to gather supporting signatures for each of their candidates from each of the four election districts i.e. each candidate must have had 4 x 1000 supporting signatures. This meant that a non-party organisation wanting to nominate the maximum number (16) of candidates had to collect 64000 signatures altogether.

The parties and other groups could choose between two different systems. They could nominate candidates for the whole country or for a region. For the elections Finland was divided into four districts. However, all the parties nominated candidates for the whole country.

The deadline for the parties and other organisations to put forward candidates was the 19th of September 1996. There were 14 parties and one other organisation in the elections. The total number of candidates was 207.

Parties running in the election


Parties represented in the EP

  • SDP : The Finnish Social Democratic Party
  • Keskusta: Finnish Centre Party
  • Kokoomus: The National Coalition Party
  • Vasemmistoliitto: The Left Alliance
  • RKP/SFP: The Swedish People's Party
  • Vilhreät: The Greens

Parties not represented in the EP

  • SKL/Kristillinen liitto: Finnish Christian Union
  • SMP/currently PESU: Perussuomalaiset ('The True Finns')
  • NUSU/Nuorsuomalaiset: The Young Finns
  • Liberaalinen Kansanpuolue: Liberal Party
  • Suomen Eläkeläisten Puolue: Pensioners
  • Luonnonlain Puolue: Law of Nature
  • Vaihtoehto EU:Lle: Anti-EU Movement


turnout 57,6%[1]
votes cast 2 366 504[1]
invalid votes 117 093[1]
Party MEPs Votes
Amount Percentage
Centre Party 4 548 041 24,36%
Social Democratic Party of Finland 4 482 577 21,45%
National Coalition Party 4 453 729 20,17%
Left Alliance 2 236 490 10,51%
Green League 1 170 670 7,59%
Swedish People's Party 1 129 425 5,75%
Young Finnish Party 68 134 3,03%
Christian League of Finland 63 279 2,81%
Alternative to EU 47 687 2,12%
True Finns 15 004 0,67%
League for Free Finland 13 746 0,61%
Liberal People's Party 8 305 0,37%
Pensioners' Party of Finland 6 357 0,28%
Natural Law Party 3 327 0,15%
Pensioners for People 2 640 0,12%
Total 16 2 249 411 100%
Source: Tilastokeskus[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Europarlamenttivaalit 1996-2004 (Tilastokeskus 2004)


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