1996 European Parliament election in Finland

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

1996 European Parliament election in Finland

20 October 1996 1999 →

16 seats to the European Parliament


Summary of the results of Finland's 20 October 1996 election to the European Parliament
National party European party Party leader Votes % +/– Seats +/–
Centre Party (KESK) ELDR Esko Aho 548,041 24.36
4 / 16
Social Democratic Party (SDP) PES Paavo Lipponen 482,577 21.45
4 / 16
National Coalition Party (KOK) EPP Sauli Niinistö 453,729 20.17
4 / 16
Left Alliance (V) NGLA / PEL Claes Andersson 236,490 10.51
2 / 16
Green League (VIHR) EGP Tuija Brax 170,670 7.59
1 / 16
Swedish People's Party (SFP) ELDR Ole Norrback 129,425 5.75
1 / 16
Young Finnish Party (NP) None Risto E.J. Penttilä 68,134 3.03
0 / 16
Christian League (SKL) None Bjarne Kallis 63,279 2.81
0 / 16
Alternative to the EU None 47,687 2.12
0 / 16
Others (parties and candidates that won less than 1% of the vote and no seats) 49,379 2.20
0 / 16
Valid votes 2,249,411 95.05
Blank and invalid votes 117,093 4.95
Totals 2,366,504 100.00
16 / 16
Electorate (eligible voters) and voter turnout (total) 4,108,703 57.60
Source: Tilastokeskus


Source:European elections in Austria and Finland

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 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 electionEdit

Source:European elections in Austria and Finland
  • 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 systemEdit

Source:European elections in Austria and Finland

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 30 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 Center (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 15 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 organization 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 organizations to put forward candidates was 19 September 1996. There were 14 parties and one other organization in the elections. The total number of candidates was 207.

Parties running in the electionEdit

Source:European elections in Austria and Finland

Parties represented in the EPEdit

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

Parties not represented in the EPEdit

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