1962 Finnish presidential election

Two-stage presidential elections were held in Finland in 1962. On 15 and 16 January the public elected presidential electors to an electoral college.[1] They in turn elected the President. The result was a victory for Urho Kekkonen, who won on the first ballot.[2] The turnout for the popular vote was 81.5%.[3]

1962 Finnish presidential election

← 1956 15–16 January 1962 1968 →
  Urho Kekkonen Paavo Aitio Rafael Paasio
Candidate Urho Kekkonen Paavo Aitio Rafael Paasio
Party Agrarian Left Alliance Social Democratic
Electoral vote 199 62 37
Popular vote 1,394,886 451,750 289,366

President before election

Urho Kekkonen

Elected President

Urho Kekkonen


Since Kekkonen's extremely narrow victory in the 1956 Finnish presidential elections, his political opponents had planned to defeat him in the election of 1962.

In the spring of 1961, the Social Democrats, National Coalition Party, Swedish People's Party, People's Party, Small Farmers' Party and the Liberal League nominated former Chancellor of Justice Olavi Honka as their presidential candidate.

The Honka League's goal was to receive a majority of the 300 presidential electors, and thus defeat President Kekkonen.

At the end of October 1961, the Soviet government sent a diplomatic note to the Finnish Government, claiming that neo-fascism and militarism were growing so much in West Germany that Finland and the Soviet Union were in danger of being attacked by that country or by some other NATO member states.

Thus the Soviet Union asked Finland to negotiate on possible joint military co-operation under the Finno-Soviet Treaty articles.

The Note Crisis alarmed many Finnish people, politicians and ordinary voters alike. In late November 1961, Honka dropped his presidential candidacy. Kekkonen then travelled to the Soviet Union where the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, briefly negotiated with him and assured the audience in Novosibirsk that Finland and the Soviet Union continued to have good relations, although some Finns tried to worsen them, and that joint military exercises were not needed, after all.

Following the Note Crisis, Kekkonen's popularity soared, as many Finnish voters believed him to be more capable than his opponents of defending Finland's neutrality and security. Kekkonen was easily re-elected President [4][5][6]


Popular voteEdit

Party or allianceVotes%Seats
Electoral Union of Urho KekkonenAgrarian League698,19931.70111
People's Party165,4897.5121
Swedish People's Party35,5991.626
Electoral Union of KOK and KPNational Coalition Party288,91213.1237
People's Party11,0870.501
Liberal League7,8980.361
Finnish People's Democratic League451,75020.5163
Social Democratic Party289,36613.1436
Swedish People's Party111,7415.0715
Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders66,1663.002
Valid votes2,202,20499.58
Invalid/blank votes9,2370.42
Total votes2,211,441100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,714,88381.46
Source: Nohln & Stöver

Electoral collegeEdit

Urho KekkonenAgrarian League19966.33
Paavo AitioFinnish People's Democratic League6220.67
Rafael PaasioSocial Democratic Party3712.33
Emil SkogSocial Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders20.67
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p606 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p630
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p624
  4. ^ Vihavainen, Timo (1987). Hyvinvointi-Suomi, osio teoksesta Suomen historian Pikkujättiläinen (in Finnish). Porvoo: WSOY. pp. 840–842.
  5. ^ Virrankoski, Pentti. Suomen historia (in Finnish). Porvoo: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. pp. 957–959.
  6. ^ Hannu Rautkallio (1992). Novosibirskin lavastus (in Finnish). Helsinki: Tammi.