Finnish Social Democrats declare razor-thin election win

HELSINKi (AFP) – Finland’s Social Democratic Party declared a narrow victory in last Sunday’s general election after the party scraped a lead of just 0.2 per cent over the far-right Finns Party with 99 per cent of votes counted.

“For the first time since 1999, the Social Democratic Party is the party of the prime minister,” leader Antti Rinne told supporters, after his party picked up 40 seats in Parliament, one more than the Finns Party.

The close result will make negotiations to form the next coalition government particularly fraught.

During the campaign, most parties expressed strong reservations about sharing a government platform with the Finns Party, which has called for the Nordic country to reduce its intake of refugees to “almost zero” and decries efforts to fight climate change as “hysteria”.

However, Rinne said he “has questions” for the Finns Party and did not rule out cooperating with them to form a majority.