1917 Finnish parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections were held in the Grand Duchy of Finland on 1 and 2 October 1917. The general voter turnout was higher than in previous elections. The Social Democrats lost the absolute majority that they had had in the previous two elections (although they, like the other parties, had increased their number of votes in absolute terms). In other words, the "bourgeois" (non-socialist) parties taken together now had more than half the seats.

BackgroundEdit

The elections were the result of the constitutional crisis in Finland caused by the Russian revolution. As Russian Tsar Nicholas, head of state in Finland, had abdicated without a successor, the Finnish Parliament stated that it would become the highest power in internal matters. The Russian Provisional Government did not accept this, but ordered premature parliamentary elections, which was thought illegal by the Socialists.

CampaignEdit

The Social Democrats demanded the quick implementation of eight-hour work day and the quick freeing of tenant farmers. The bourgeois parties, on average, wanted first to ensure that Finland would become fully independent, and only then to implement such social and economic reforms.[1][2]

ResultsEdit

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Social Democratic Party of Finland 444,670 44.79 92 –11
Finnish PartyYoung Finnish PartyPeople's Party [fi][a] 299,516 30.17 61 +5
Agrarian League 122,900 12.38 26 +7
Swedish People's Party 108,190 10.90 21 0
Christian Workers' Union 15,489 1.56 0 –1
Others 1,997 0.20 0
Total 992,762 100 200 0
Valid votes 992,762 99.51
Invalid/blank votes 4,903 0.49
Total votes cast 997,665 100
Registered voters/turnout 1,441,075 69.23
Source: Mackie & Rose[3]

a The Finnish Party won 32 seats, the Young Finnish Party 24 and the People's Party five.

Popular vote
SDP
44.79%
SP-NSP-K
30.17%
ML
12.38%
RKP
10.90%
KTL
1.56%
Others
0.20%
Parliament seats
SDP
46.00%
SP
16.00%
ML
13.00%
NSP
12.00%
RKP
10.50%
K
2.50%

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Seppo Zetterberg et al (2003_ A Small Giant of the Finnish History WSOY
  2. ^ Allan Tiitta and Seppo Zetterberg (1992) Finland Through the Ages Reader's Digest
  3. ^ Thomas T Mackie & Richard Rose (1991) The International Almanac of Electoral History, Macmillan, p243 (vote figures)