The combined vote for Left Alliance leader Paavo Arhinmäki and Social Democrat candidate Paavo Lipponen in Sunday’s presidential election was historically low, at just 13.2 percent. The country will now elect its first non-Social Democrat president for thirty years.
YLE election pundit Risto Uimonen argued that the left’s combined result was catastrophic. He said the lack of trade union support hindered efforts to get out traditional left-wing voters.
“SAK (blue collar trade union confederation) support was decisive for Martti Ahtisaari and Tarja Halonen,” said Uimonen, recalling Finland’s last two presidents. They are both Social Democrats, as is Mauno Koivisto, Ahtisaari’s predecessor.