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Social Democratic Party of Finland

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Social Democratic Party of Finland
Sosialidemokraatit (Finnish)[nb 1]
Socialdemokraterna (Swedish)
ChairpersonAntti Lindtman
SecretaryMikkel Näkkäläjärvi
General SecretaryKari Anttila [fi]
Parliamentary group leaderTytti Tuppurainen
First deputy chairNasima Razmyar
Founded20 July 1899; 125 years ago (1899-07-20)
HeadquartersSiltasaarenkatu 18–20C, 00530 Helsinki
Think tankKalevi Sorsa Foundation [fi]
Student wingSocial Democratic Students
Youth wingSocial Democratic Youth
Women's wingSocial Democratic Women in Finland [fi][1]
Children’s wingNuoret Kotkat [fi]
Swedish-speaking wingFinlands Svenska Socialdemokrater [fi]
Membership (2021)Decrease 29,450[2]
IdeologySocial democracy
Political positionCentre-left
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats[3]
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[4]
Socialist International[5]
Nordic affiliationSAMAK
The Social Democratic Group
Colours  Red
AnthemTyöväen marssi [fi]
43 / 200
European Parliament
2 / 15
1,451 / 8,859
County seats
277 / 1,379

The Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP, Finnish: Suomen sosialidemokraattinen puolue [ˈsuo̯men ˈsosiɑ(ː)liˌdemokrɑːtːinen ˈpuo̯lue], nicknamed: demarit in Finnish; Swedish: Finlands socialdemokratiska parti) is a social democratic and pro-European political party in Finland.[6][7] It is the third largest party in the Parliament of Finland with 43 seats. Founded in 1899 as the Workers' Party of Finland (Finnish: Suomen työväenpuolue; Swedish: Finlands arbetarparti), the SDP is Finland's oldest active political party and has a close relationship with the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions. It is also a member of the Party of European Socialists, Progressive Alliance, Socialist International and SAMAK.

Following the resignation of Antti Rinne in December 2019, Sanna Marin became the country's 46th Prime Minister. SDP formed a new coalition government on the basis of its predecessor, in effect continuing cooperation with the Centre Party, the Green League, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party. Seven of the Finnish Government its nineteen ministers are SDP members.[8]

In September 2023, Antti Lindtman was elected leader of the party following Marin's resignation after the 2023 election.[9]


The SDP's party conference in Oulu in 1906.

The party was founded as the Workers' Party of Finland in 1899, with its first meeting being held from 17–20 July in Turku. At the beginning of the 1900s the party presented demands as well as solutions to the tenant farmer question, the managing of employment, improvement of workers’ rights, freedom of speech and an 8-hour work day.[10]
In its 1903 second party conference in Forssa, the party's name was renamed to the present form: Social Democratic Party of Finland, but the Grand Duchy of Finland's then governor-general Nikolay Bobrikov had forbidden the SDP from using "social democratic" in their name before, but this ban was not followed by the party members when the name was changed. At the same time, the at the time, radical Forssa Programme was agreed upon, which served as the official party platform until 1952. The goals of the programme were an 8-hour workday, a minimum wage, universal compulsory education and prohibition.[11]

The Forssa Programme is based on the Erfurt Programme approved by the Social Democratic Party of Germany in 1891 and the Social Democratic Party of Austria's programme, respectively. Its immediate demands have been fulfilled, but the most significant and currently unfulfilled requirement is the right to vote. To date, the Finnish people have not had the right to directly vote on laws. according to the items on the list, they have only had the right twice, but just on advisory referendums, once about prohibition in 1931 and another time in the 1994 Finnish European Union membership referendum.[12] The demands on total separation of church and state, abolition of religious education in all schools and to the prohibition of alcohol have since then, all been abandoned.[13]

The SDP was closely associated with the Finnish Trade Union Federation (SAJ), established in 1907, with all of its members also being members of the party.[14] The party remained a chiefly extra-parliamentary movement until universal suffrage was introduced in 1906, after which the SDP's share of the votes reached 47% in the 1916 Finnish parliamentary election, when the party secured a majority in the parliament, the only time in the history of Finland when one party has had such a majority. The party lost its majority in the 1917 Finnish parliamentary election after the Russian Provisional Government had rejected its Valtalaki 1917 proposal and disbanded the Finnish government, starting a rebellion with the broader Finnish labour movement that quickly escalated into the Finnish Civil War in 1918.[citation needed]

SDP members declared Finland a socialist republic, but they were defeated by the forces of the White Guard. The war resulted in most of the party leaders being killed, imprisoned or left to seek refuge in Soviet Russia.[citation needed] In addition, the process leading to the civil war and the war itself had stripped the party of its political legitimacy and respectability in the eyes of the right-wing majority. However, the political support for the party remained strong. In the 1919 Finnish parliamentary election, the party, reorganised by Väinö Tanner, received 80 of the 200 seats of the parliament. In 1918, former exiled SDP members founded the Communist Party of Finland (SKP) in Moscow. Although the SKP was banned in Finland until 1944, it was represented by front organisations, leading to the support of the Finnish working class being divided between the SDP and the SKP.

It became the life's work of Väinö Tanner to re-establish the SDP as a serious, governing party. The result was a much more patriotic SDP which leaned less to the left and was relatively isolated from its Nordic sister parties, namely the Danish Social Democrats, the Norwegian Labour Party and the Swedish Social Democratic Party. President Pehr Evind Svinhufvud's animosity kept the SDP out of government during his presidency from 1931 to 1937. With the exception of a brief period in 1926, when Tanner formed a minority government, the SDP was excluded from cabinet participation until Kyösti Kallio was elected President in 1937. During World War II, the party played a central role in a series of broad coalition cabinets, symbolising national unity forged in response to the threat of the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939–1940. The SDP was a member of the Labour and Socialist International from 1923 to 1940.[15]

During the first few months of the Continuation War (1941–1944), the country, the parliament and the cabinet were divided on the question of whether Finland's army should stop at the old border and thereby demonstratively refrain from any attempt of conquests. However, the country's dangerous position called for national unity and the SDP's leadership chose to refrain from any visible protests. This decision is sometimes indicated as one of the main reasons behind the post-war division between the main left-wing parties (the SKP and the SDP) and the high percentage of SKP voters in the first elections after the Continuation War. After the war, the SKP was allowed to continue working and the main feature of Finnish political life during the 1944–1949 period was the competition between the SDP and the SKP, both for voters and for the control of the labour unions. During this time, the political field was divided roughly equally between the SDP, the SKP and the Agrarian League, each party commanding some 25% of the vote. In the post-war era, the SDP adopted a line of defending Finnish sovereignty and democracy in line with the Agrarian League and other bourgeois political parties, finally leading to the expulsion of the SKP from the cabinet in 1948. As a result, the Soviet Union remained more openly critical towards the SDP than the centre-right parties.

SDP municipal election poster from 1933 ("Municipal power to those who work").

Because of the SDP's anti-communism, the United States Central Intelligence Agency supported the party by means of funds laundered through Nordic sister parties or through organisations that bought luxury goods such as coffee abroad, then imported and sold them for a high profit as post-war rationing served to inflate prices. In the 1956 Finnish presidential election, the SDP candidate Karl-August Fagerholm lost by only one electoral vote to Urho Kekkonen. Fagerholm would act as Prime Minister in the Fagerholm II Cabinet (1956–1957) and the Fagerholm III Cabinet (1958–1959). The latter cabinet was forced to resign due to Soviet pressure, leading to a series of cabinets led by the Agrarian League. In 1958, due to the election of Väinö Tanner as party chairman, a faction of the SDP resigned and formed the Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders (TPSL) around the former SDP chairman Emil Skog. The dispute was over several issues, namely whether the party should function as an interest group and whether it should co-operate with the anti-communists and right-wingers or with president Kekkonen, the Agrarian League and the SKP. During the 1960s, the TPSL dwindled, its members returning one by one to the SDP or joining the SKP, with Skog himself returning to the SDP in 1965. In the 1970 Finnish parliamentary election, the TPSL failed to gain any seats in parliament. Only in 1966 was the SDP able to satisfy the Soviet Union about its friendly attitude towards it and could thus return to the cabinet. Since then, the SDP has been represented in most Finnish cabinets, often cooperating with the centrist-agrarian Centre Party (formerly the Agrarian League), but sometimes with the liberal-conservative National Coalition Party. The SDP was in opposition from 1991 to 1995, when the main parties in the cabinet were the Centre Party and the National Coalition Party (NCP).

The 1995 Finnish parliamentary election saw a landslide victory for the SDP, achieving their best results since World War II. The SDP rose to government from the opposition and leader Paavo Lipponen headed two consecutive cabinets from 1995 to 2003. During this time, the party adopted a pro-European stance and contributed actively to the Finnish membership in the European Union in 1995 in concert with the cabinet. In the 2003 Finnish parliamentary election, the SDP won 53 of the 200 seats, ending up a close second to the Centre Party. As a result, Lipponen became the Speaker of Parliament and the Centre Party leader Anneli Jäätteenmäki became the new Prime Minister, leading a coalition cabinet that included the SDP which got eight ministerial posts. After two months in office, Jäätteenmäki resigned due to a scandal relating to the Iraq leak and was replaced by Matti Vanhanen, another Centre Party representative, who commanded the Vanhanen I Cabinet.

Sanna Marin, the party's leader from August 2020 to September 2023.
Support for the Social Democrats by municipality in the 2011 Finnish parliamentary election which saw the party faring strongest in southern and eastern parts of the country.

In the 2007 Finnish parliamentary election, the SDP gained the third-most votes. The chairman of the then-largest Centre Party, Matti Vanhanen, became the Prime Minister and formed a coalition cabinet consisting of the Green League, the NCP and the Swedish People's Party of Finland (SPP), leaving the SDP to the opposition. SDP leader Eero Heinäluoma did not immediately resign as party chairman, but he did announce his withdrawal from running for party chairman in the following party conference. He was replaced by Jutta Urpilainen. The SDP suffered further losses in the 2008 Finnish municipal elections and the 2009 European Parliament election. In the 2011 Finnish parliamentary election, the SDP lost three more seats, ending up with 19.1 percent of the vote which corresponded to 42 seats, the party's worst-ever result. However, as the Centre Party lost even more voters, the SDP became the second-largest party in the country after the NCP, receiving only some 1,500 votes more than the Finns Party which came in third. After lengthy negotiations, a six-party coalition government, the Katainen Cabinet, was formed with the NCP and the SDP as the two main parties. SDP leader Jutta Urpilainen became the cabinet's Minister of Finance, with NCP chairman Jyrki Katainen serving as Prime Minister.

In the 2014 party conference, Urpilainen was narrowly defeated by her challenger Antti Rinne in a 257 to 243 vote.[16] Urpilainen subsequently stepped down as the Minister of Finance, passing the seat on to Rinne.[17] In the 2015 Finnish parliamentary election, the drop of support continued for the SDP. The party lost eight more seats compared to the 2011 parliamentary election, ending up with 34 seats and 16.5 percent of the vote. With the repeat of the worst-ever result, the SDP dropped to being the fourth largest political party in Finland, receiving 50,110 fewer votes than the NCP, yet 237,000 more votes than the Green League. The SDP was left in the opposition and provided extensive criticism on the actions of the Sipilä Cabinet on matters such as alcohol policy, cuts to education spending and the so-called active model.[18] On 22 June 2016, Maria Tolppanen, a Finns Party representative, joined the SDP. This increased the SDP's parliamentary seat number to 35.[19]

In the 2019 Finnish parliamentary election, the SDP gained 6 seats in comparison to the 2015 parliamentary election and became the largest party in the parliament.[20] Based on the answers and initial talks with all parties, Rinne announced that he would negotiate forming a government with the Centre Party, the Green League, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People's Party.[21] The negotiations were ultimately successful and the Rinne Cabinet was formally inaugurated on 6 June 2019.[22] On 3 December 2019, Rinne resigned as Prime Minister after the Centre Party had expressed a lack of confidence in Rinne for his handling of the events surrounding a postal strike in Finland.[23] He was followed in the position by Sanna Marin, who was appointed as Prime Minister on 10 December 2019.[24]



The SDP is a centre-left social-democratic party.[25][26][27]

In its 2020 declaration of principles the party's ideals and priorities are: sustainable development, all-encompassing equality, peace, solidarity, freedom, co-operation, a clean and pristine environment together with democratic socialism. The SDP also embraces humanism's values as well as the Nordic model's accomplishments.[28]

In the 1900s, the party known as the Finnish Workers' Party was founded on the basis of social issues, class and socialism. SDP was the only political party in Finland for a long time. In 1907, the SDP was the strongest socialist party in Europe, as evidenced by the qualified majority in the Senate of Finland in 1917. At the beginning of the 20th century, the party received its main support from groups of the landless population and the rural population. In 1919, at the SDP's meeting, a split was made with the radical communists, as a result of which they broke away and founded the SSTP. As a result of the civil war and the October Revolution, the workers' movement became even more divided.[29]

Up until Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine,[30] the party opposed on joining NATO and instead preferred to remain in the Partnership for Peace.[31]

The SDP is in favour of queer rights, the construction of nuclear power plants, the conservation of Swedish as one of Finland's two official languages and to the increasing of the funding given to public schools and universities.[32] The party is advocating for Finland to become coal-free by 2030.[33] The SDP had advocated for policies preventing foreigners from outside the EU from working in Finland,[34][35] but has since then softened its positions on immigration and has come to support certain immigration reforms. In its 2023 parliamentary election programme its self-declared goal was the increasing of work-based immigration coming to Finland as a way of responding to the county's labour shortage and low birth rate.[36] In 2023, the SDP, along with the NCP, both criticised the Finns Party for their lack of willingness to the easing of work permit requirements to foreigners coming from outside the European Union.[37]

The party opposed certain economic reforms both in the 2011 Finnish parliamentary election and in the subsequent negotiations about the government programme.[38][39][40] The SDP maintains a close relationship with trade unions. The party has opposed social reforms that would reduce the role of earnings-related unemployment benefits. The government pays them to recipients through financial middlemen that are almost exclusively trade unions.[41] The SDP also supports the separation of church and state.[42]



The SDP's politicians, among serveral other finnish political parties’ members, have received criticism about their connections with the Russians for years by some of the media and academics, for example, SDP politicians Eero Heinäluoma, Paavo Lipponen, Erkki Tuomioja, Antton Rönnholm and Tarja Halonen have all had past connections to Russia.[clarification needed]
In 2005, according to Halonen, Russia's goals were: "...democracy, human rights and good governance."[43] 9 years later, in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, Halonen thought that Russia should not have been punished by sanctions or isolation.[44]

SDP's former party secretary Antton Rönnholm has also taken his part. Through his consulting firm's services offered to Gazprom, he sent an invoice for almost 200,000 euros to them for assisting in the South Stream gas pipeline project. More than half of Gazprom is owned by the Russian state, and it is partly used as a geopolitical tool in Europe and the rest of the world.[45]

In February 2022, politician Erkki Tuomioja published a work with the title "Finland and NATO – Why Finland should have the opportunity to apply for NATO membership and why that opportunity should not be used now". In his work Tuomioja estimated that Russia was viewed rather unanalytically.[46]

Also in February 2022, when Russia had already been pressuring Ukraine for a long time, the social democratic MEP Eero Heinäluoma and Mauri Pekkarinen from the Centre Party both said in a Finnish current affairs television programme that preparing for the Russian threat was part of the problem. According to Heinäluoma, placing defensive armaments in Russia's neighbouring countries was instead a threat to Russia.[47]

Paavo Lipponen has lobbied for and been a consultant for Russia's Nord Stream project since 2008.[48] That year, Russia went to war against Georgia, which marked the start of Putin's foreign policy's aggresiveness.[49] In a report of the European Parliament's special committee in 2022, former Social Democratic Party and Centre Party prime ministers Lipponen and Esko Aho were said to be among the European politicians that Russia and China had hijacked to promote their interests.[50] Some current SDP politicians have therefore built their careers by appeasing Russia. However, in 2023, during the premiership of former Social Democratic Party chair Sanna Marin, Finland officially joined NATO.

In September 2023, when Antti Lindtman got elected chair of the SDP, a scandal broke out due to him in his adolescent years, posing near four other naked young adults, nude, wearing a pointed hat in the style of a christmas elf, covered by a balaclava and with an airsoft gun in hand. While two others were doing a nazi salute in the same picture. Because of this, Lindtman was accused of being a nazi. He responded by stating that the image had been taken during his time in a high school film group by the name of "Team Paha, English: Team Bad" in a Pikkujoulu party while they were messing around and firmly denied the allegation of being a national socialist.[51][52]

The party secretary, Mikkel Näkkäläjärvi's, nomination and subsequent appointment to his role during the SDP's 2023 conference in Jyväskylä was criticised because of his criminal background. In 2011 he had driven a car while under the presence of alcohol, and was charged with a 30-day suspended sentence and an accompanying fine. Näkkäläjärvi had also broken into a retired old lady's summer cottage as a 15-year-old teenager with three others around the same age as him and participated in the killing and burning of a grown-up cat in a bonfire. Following this, he was charged with burglary, vandalism and animal cruelty as a young person. Näkkäläjärvi has apologised for all of his past misdeeds.[53][54][55][56]

Voter base


The average age of an SDP member is 61.5 years.[57] Over one half of all SDP voters are active members of the workforce.

Symbols, logos and posters


Prominent Social Democrats

Oskari Tokoi Chairperson of the Senate in 1917.
Yrjö Sirola Founder of the Communist Party of Finland.
Väinö Tanner Prime Minister (1926–1927).
Foreign Minister (1939–1940).
Karl-August Fagerholm Prime Minister (1948–1950, 1956–1957 and 1958–1959).
Speaker of Parliament (1945–1948, 1950–1956, 1957–1958, 1958–1962 and 1965–1966).
Rafael Paasio Prime Minister (1966–1968 and 1972).
Kalevi Sorsa Prime Minister (1972–1975, 1977–1979 and 1982–1987).
Mauno Koivisto Prime Minister (1968–1970 and 1979–1982).
President (1982–1994).
Pentti Väänänen Secretary General of the Socialist International (1983–1989).
Martti Ahtisaari President (1994–2000).
Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2008).
Erkki Tuomioja Foreign Minister (2000–2007 and 2011–2015).
Paavo Lipponen Prime Minister (1995–2003).
Speaker of the Parliament (2003–2007).
Tarja Halonen Foreign Minister (1995–2000).
President (2000–2012).
Eero Heinäluoma Speaker of the Parliament (2011–2015).
Jutta Urpilainen Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (2011–2014).
Antti Rinne Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister (2014–2015).
Prime Minister (2019).
Sanna Marin Prime Minister (2019–2023).
Minister of Transport and Communications (2019).

Leaders of the Social Democrats

Antti Rinne, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Finland from May 2014 to August 2020.
Time Leader
1899–1900 Nils Robert af Ursin
1900 J. A. Salminen [fi]
1900–1903 K. F. Hellstén [fi]
1903–1905 Taavi Tainio
1905–1906 Emil Perttilä
1906–1909 Edvard Valpas-Hänninen
1909–1911 Matti Paasivuori
1911–1913 Otto Wille Kuusinen
1913–1917 Matti Paasivuori
1917–1918 Kullervo Manner
1918–1926 Väinö Tanner
1926–1930 Matti Paasivuori
1930–1942 Kaarlo Harvala
1942–1944 Väinö Salovaara
1944–1946 Onni Hiltunen
1946–1957 Emil Skog
1957–1963 Väinö Tanner
1963–1975 Rafael Paasio
1975–1987 Kalevi Sorsa
1987–1991 Pertti Paasio
1991–1993 Ulf Sundqvist
1993–2005 Paavo Lipponen
2005–2008 Eero Heinäluoma
2008–2014 Jutta Urpilainen
2014–2020 Antti Rinne
2020–2023 Sanna Marin
2023–present Antti Lindtman

Election results


Parliament of Finland

Parliament of Finland
Election Popular vote Number of seats Status
Votes % ± pp Rank Seats +/– Rank
1907 329,946 37.03 Increase 37.03 Increase 1st
80 / 200
Increase 80 Increase 1st Opposition
1908 310,826 38.40 Increase 1.37 Steady 1st
83 / 200
Increase 3 Steady 1st Opposition
1909 337,685 39.89 Increase 1.49 Steady 1st
84 / 200
Increase 1 Steady 1st Opposition
1910 316,951 40.04 Increase 0.15 Steady 1st
86 / 200
Increase 2 Steady 1st Opposition
1911 321,201 40.03 Decrease 0.01 Steady 1st
86 / 200
Steady 0 Steady 1st Opposition
1913 312,214 43.11 Increase 3.08 Steady 1st
90 / 200
Increase 4 Steady 1st Opposition
1916 376,030 47.29 Increase 4.18 Steady 1st
103 / 200
Increase 13 Steady 1st Opposition
1917 444,670 44.79 Decrease 2.50 Steady 1st
92 / 200
Decrease 11 Steady 1st Opposition
1919 365,046 37.98 Decrease 7.51 Steady 1st
80 / 200
Decrease 12 Steady 1st Opposition
1922 216,861 25.06 Decrease 12.22 Steady 1st
53 / 200
Decrease 27 Steady 1st Opposition
1924 255,068 29.02 Increase 3.96 Steady 1st
60 / 200
Increase 7 Steady 1st Opposition (1924–1926)
Coalition (1926–1927)
1927 257,572 28.30 Decrease 0.72 Steady 1st
60 / 200
Steady 0 Steady 1st Opposition
1929 260,254 27.36 Decrease 0.94 Steady 1st
59 / 200
Decrease 1 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1930 386,026 34.16 Increase 6.80 Steady 1st
66 / 200
Increase 7 Increase 1st Opposition
1933 413,551 37.33 Increase 3.17 Steady 1st
78 / 200
Increase 12 Steady 1st Opposition
1936 452,751 38.59 Increase 1.26 Steady 1st
83 / 200
Increase 5 Steady 1st Opposition (1936–1937)
Coalition (1937–1939)
1939 515,980 39.77 Increase 1.18 Steady 1st
85 / 200
Increase 2 Steady 1st Coalition
1945 425,948 25.08 Decrease 14.69 Steady 1st
50 / 200
Decrease 35 Steady 1st Coalition
1948 494,719 26.32 Increase 1.24 Steady 1st
54 / 200
Increase 4 Decrease 2nd Coalition (1948–1950)
Opposition (1950–1951)
Coalition (1951)
1951 480,754 26.52 Increase 0.20 Steady 1st
53 / 200
Decrease 1 Increase 1st Coalition (1951–1953)
Opposition (1953–1954)
Coalition (1954)
1954 527,094 26.25 Decrease 0.27 Steady 1st
54 / 200
Increase 1 Steady 1st Coalition (1954–1957)
Opposition (1957–1958)
1958 449,536 23.12 Decrease 3.13 Decrease 2nd
48 / 200
Decrease 6 Decrease 2nd Coalition (1958–1959)
Opposition (1959–1962)
1962 448,930 19.50 Decrease 3.62 Decrease 3rd
38 / 200
Decrease 10 Decrease 3rd Opposition
1966 645,339 27.23 Increase 7.73 Increase 1st
55 / 200
Increase 17 Increase 1st Coalition
1970 594,185 23.43 Decrease 3.80 Steady 1st
52 / 200
Decrease 3 Steady 1st Coalition
1972 664,724 25.78 Increase 2.35 Steady 1st
55 / 200
Increase 3 Steady 1st Coalition
1975 683,590 24.86 Decrease 0.92 Steady 1st
54 / 200
Decrease 1 Steady 1st Coalition (1975–1976)
Opposition (1976–1977)
Coalition (1977–1979)
1979 691,512 23.89 Decrease 0.97 Steady 1st
52 / 200
Decrease 2 Steady 1st Coalition
1983 795,953 26.71 Increase 2.82 Steady 1st
57 / 200
Increase 5 Steady 1st Coalition
1987 695,331 24.14 Decrease 2.57 Steady 1st
56 / 200
Decrease 1 Steady 1st Coalition
1991 603,080 22.12 Decrease 2.02 Decrease 2nd
48 / 200
Decrease 8 Decrease 2nd Opposition
1995 785,637 28.25 Increase 6.13 Increase 1st
63 / 200
Increase 15 Increase 1st Coalition
1999 612,963 22.86 Decrease 5.39 Steady 1st
51 / 200
Decrease 12 Steady 1st Coalition
2003 683,223 24.47 Increase 1.61 Decrease 2nd
53 / 200
Increase 2 Decrease 2nd Coalition
2007 594,194 21.44 Decrease 3.03 Decrease 3rd
45 / 200
Decrease 8 Decrease 3rd Opposition
2011 561,558 19.10 Decrease 2.34 Increase 2nd
42 / 200
Decrease 3 Increase 2nd Coalition
2015 490,102 16.51 Decrease 2.59 Decrease 4th
34 / 200
Decrease 8 Decrease 4th Opposition
2019 546,471 17.73 Increase 1.22 Increase 1st
40 / 200
Increase 6 Increase 1st Coalition
2023 616,218 19.93 Increase 2.20 Decrease 3rd
43 / 200
Increase 3 Decrease 3rd Opposition


Municipal Councils
Year Councillors Votes %
1945 2,100 265,689
1950 377,294 25.05%
1953 449,251 25.53%
1956 424,977 25.42%
1960 2,261 414,175 21.10%
1964 2,543 530,878 24.75%
1968 2,351 540,450 23.86%
1972 2,533 676,387 27.05%
1976 2,735 665,632 24.82%
1980 2,820 699,280 25.50%
1984 2,830 666,218 24.70%
1988 2,866 663,692 25.23%
1992 3,130 721,310 27.08%
1996 2,742 583,623 24.55%
2000 2,559 511,370 22.99%
2004 2,585 575,822 24.11%
2008 2,066 541,187 21.23%
2012 1,729 487,924 19.57%
2017 1,697 498,252 19.38%
2021 1,451 433,811 17.7%

European Parliament

Parliament of Finland
Year Popular vote Number of seats
Votes % ± pp Rank Seats +/– Rank
1996 482,577 21.45% Increase 21.45 Increase 2nd
4 / 16
Increase 4 Increase 1st
1999 221,836 17.86% Decrease 3.59 Decrease 3rd
3 / 16
Decrease 1 Decrease 2nd
2004 350,525 21.16% Increase 3.30 Steady 3rd
3 / 14
Steady 0 Steady 2nd
2009 292,051 17.54% Decrease 3.62 Steady 3rd
2 / 13
Decrease 1 Steady 2nd
2014 212,211 12.31% Decrease 5.23 Decrease 4th
2 / 13
Steady 0 Steady 2nd
2019 267,342 14.62% Increase 2.31 Increase 2nd
2 / 13
Steady 0 Steady 2nd
2024 272,034 14.87% Increase 0.25 Decrease 3rd
2 / 15
Steady 0 Decrease 3rd

Presidential elections



Electoral college
Year Candidate Popular vote First ballot Second ballot Third ballot Results
Votes % Seats Rank Votes % Rank Votes % Rank Votes % Rank
1919 Väinö Tanner
1 / 300
0.5 4th Lost
1925 Väinö Tanner 165,091 26.55
79 / 300
78 / 300
26.0 1st
2 / 300
0.7 5th Lost
1931 Väinö Tanner 252,550 30.2
90 / 300
90 / 300
30.0 1st
0 / 300
0.0 4th Lost
1937 Väinö Tanner 341,408 30.68
95 / 300
1st Lost
1940 Johan Helo
4 / 300
1.30 2nd Lost
1950 343,828 21.80
64 / 300
1956 Karl-August Fagerholm 442,408 23.33
72 / 300
72 / 300
24.0 2nd
114 / 300
38.0 1st
149 / 300
49.7 2nd Lost
1962 Rafael Paasio 289,366 13.08
36 / 300
37 / 300
12.3 3rd Lost
1968 Urho Kekkonen 315,068 15.46
55 / 300
201 / 300
67.0 1st Won
1978 Urho Kekkonen 569,154 23.25
74 / 300
259 / 300
86.3 1st Won
1982 Mauno Koivisto 1,370,314 43.10
144 / 300
145 / 300
48.3 1st
167 / 300
55.7 1st Won
1988[nb 2] Mauno Koivisto 1,513,234 48.90
128 / 301
144 / 301
48.0 1st
189 / 301
63.0 1st Won


Year Candidate 1st round 2nd round Results
Votes % ± pp Rank Votes % ± pp Rank
1994 Martti Ahtisaari 828,038 25.91 Decrease 22.99 Steady 1st 1,723,485 53.85 Increase 5.85 Steady 1st Won
2000 Tarja Halonen 1,224,431 40.03 Increase 14.12 Steady 1st 1,644,532 51.63 Decrease 2.22 Steady 1st Won
2006 Tarja Halonen 1,397,030 46.31 Increase 6.28 Steady 1st 1,630,980 51.79 Increase 0.16 Steady 1st Won
2012 Paavo Lipponen 205,020 6.70 Decrease 39.61 Decrease 5th Lost
2018 Tuula Haatainen 97,294 3.25 Decrease 3.45 Decrease 6th Lost
2024 Jutta Urpilainen 140,802 4.34 Increase 1.09 Steady 6th Lost

See also



  1. ^ For historical reasons, the party's name is spelled in the old-fashioned way, with a short a.
  2. ^ The 1988 presidential election was partially indirect. After Koivisto had failed to get a majority of the popular vote, he was elected president in the electoral college which the voters voted for alongside the direct vote.


  1. ^ "Member Organisations". Socialist International Women. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ "About the SDP". Suomen sosialidemokraattinen puolue (in Finnish). 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  3. ^ Terry, Chris (3 March 2014). "Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP)". The Democratic Society. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Parties & Organisations". Progressive Alliance. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Full list of member parties and organisations". Socialist International. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Information and Result Service". Vaalit: Information and Result Service.
  7. ^ Bale, Tim (2021). Riding the populist wave: Europe's mainstream right in crisis. Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-1-009-00686-6. OCLC 1256593260.
  8. ^ "Ministers". Valtioneuvosto. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  9. ^ "SDP elects Antti Lindtman as Sanna Marin's successor". News. 1 September 2023. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  10. ^ "Suomen työväen puolueen ohjelma" (in Finnish). Social Democratic Party of Finland. 20 July 1899. Retrieved 19 February 2024.
  11. ^ Edgren, Torsten; Manninen, Merja; Ukkonen, Jari (2003). Suomen historian käsikirja. p. 268. ISBN 951-0-27651-0.
  12. ^ "Valtiollinen kansanäänestys". Vaalit. Ministry of Justice (Finland). Retrieved 24 February 2024.
  13. ^ "Forssan ohjelma 1903". Social Democratic Party of Finland. 20 August 1903. Retrieved 24 February 2024.
  14. ^ Roselius, Aapo; Tepora, Tuomas (2014). The Finnish Civil War 1918: History, Memory, Legacy. Brill Academic Publishers. p. 32. ISBN 9789004243668.
  15. ^ Kowalski, Werner (1985). Geschichte der Sozialistischen Arbeiter-Internationale: 1923–1940, Berlin: Dt. Verl. d. Wissenschaften (in German).
  16. ^ "Antti Rinne on SDP:n uusi puheenjohtaja" (in Finnish). Yle. 9 May 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  17. ^ "Antti Rinteestä uusi valtiovarainministeri". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Eduskunta hyväksyi työttömyysturvalain aktiivimalleineen – Teollisuusliitto tuomitsee ja väläyttää lakkoa". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 19 December 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  19. ^ "Perussuomalaisten kansanedustaja loikkaa Sdp:n riveihin". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Parliamentary Elections 2019: Party Results" (in Finnish). Ministry of Justice. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Näin syntyi hallitusohjelmasta neuvotteleva uusi punamulta" (in Finnish). Yle Uutiset. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  22. ^ "Finland's new government: SDP, Centre dominate ministerial portfolios". Yle News. 3 June 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  23. ^ "Finnish PM Rinne resigns". Yle News. 18 February 2024. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Finland's record-young PM appointed, faces confidence vote next week". Yle News. 18 February 2024. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Finland's Social Democrats on top in partial election result". the Guardian. 14 April 2019. Retrieved 2021-12-21.
  26. ^ "Finland goes left: Social Democrats win slim victory as far right surges". SBS News. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  27. ^ "Finland's centre-left and Euro-skeptic populists top parliamentary election". CBC. 14 April 2019.
  28. ^ "2020 Declaration of Principles". Social Democratic Party of Finland. 23 August 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  29. ^ Rantala, Onni (1982). Suomen puolueiden muuttuminen 1945–1980 [Changes in Finnish parties between 1945–1980] (in Finnish). Helsinki: Gaudeamus. ISBN 951-662-320-4.
  30. ^ Waterfield, Bruno; Crossland, David. "Sanna Marin concedes election defeat as Finland officially joins Nato". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  31. ^ Duxbury, Charlie (15 May 2022). "Dramatic U-turns by Social Democrats in Sweden, Finland paved way to NATO". Politico. Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  32. ^ "Policies". Social Democratic Party of Finland. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  33. ^ Sims, Alexandra (14 March 2020). "Finland plans to completely phase out coal by 2030". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  34. ^ Bucken-Knapp, Gregg; Hinnfors, Jonas; Levin, Pia; Spehar, Andrea (23 June 2014). "No nordic model: Understanding differences in the labour migration policy preferences of mainstream Finnish and Swedish political parties". Comparative European Politics. 12 (6): 584–602. doi:10.1057/cep.2014.22. S2CID 256512054. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  35. ^ "Centre Party split over immigration". Yle News. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  36. ^ ""SDP's parliamentary election programme 2023"". Social Democratic Party of Finland. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  37. ^ "SDP ja kokoomus tyrmäävät perussuomalaisten linjaukset työperäisestä maahanmuutosta: "Suomea näivettävää"". Yle Uutiset. 30 January 2023. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  38. ^ Elonen, Piia (3 April 2011). "Puolueiden mielestä talouskasvu ratkoo ongelmat" [The parties believe that economic growth will solve problems]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  39. ^ Elonen, Piia (3 April 2011). "Ekonomistit teilaavat puolueiden talouspolitiikan" [Economists critique the parties' economic policy]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  40. ^ Sutinen, Teija (2 February 2013). "Sdp:n eläkelinja syntyi puolivahingossa" [The SDP's pension line was born in a semi-accident]. Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  41. ^ Soininvaara, Osmo (2010). SATA-komitea. Miksi asioista päättäminen on niin vaikeaa (in Finnish).
  42. ^ "Aloiteet 170–171 Kirkko ja valtio erotettava toisistaan" [Initiatives 170–171 Church and state should separated] (in Finnish). Social Democratic Party of Finland. 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2024.
  43. ^ "Halonen: Suomessa on Venäjän pelkoa". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 1 October 2005. Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  44. ^ IS (5 March 2014). "Presidentti Halosen mielestä Venäjää ei saisi rangaista eristämällä". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  45. ^ Honkamaa, Antti (23 February 2017). "Sdp:n puoluesihteeri kääri jättitilin kaasuputkihankkeella – laskutti Gazpromilta lähes 200 000 euroa". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  46. ^ "Tuomioja haukkuu Nato-kannattajat disinformaation levittämisestä". www.iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  47. ^ "Kommentti: Venäjä-selittäjien koulukunta siloittelee Putinin toimia". www.iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  48. ^ "Paavo Lipposen Nord Stream -lobbaus raivostuttaa – "Voisi antaa Venäjän hyysäämisestä ansaitsemansa miljoonat Ukrainalle"". www.iltalehti.fi (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  49. ^ Varjus, Seppo (14 October 2022). "Pääkirjoitus: Rahakas peli Venäjän kanssa tahri Ahon ja Lipposen kunnian – valtiomiesten mahalasku on syytä muistaa jatkossa". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 24 February 2023.
  50. ^ "European Parliament resolution of 9 March 2022 on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation (2020/2268(INI))". European Parliament. 9 March 2022. Retrieved 24 February 2024.
  51. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (5 September 2023). "Finland's opposition leader under fire over Nazi salute photo". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  52. ^ "Kuva leviää: Nuori Antti Lindtman mukana porukassa, jossa tehdään natsitervehdyksiä – näin Lindtman selittää". Iltasanomat (in Finnish). 5 July 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  53. ^ "Mikkel Näkkäläjärvi nosti esiin vanhat rikostuomionsa – "Pyydän todella anteeksi"". Iltasanomat (in Finnish). 9 February 2023.
  54. ^ "New SDP party secretary faces fresh criticism over animal cruelty conviction". Yle Uutiset. 4 February 2023. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  55. ^ "Nuorisojoukko tappoi raa asti kissoja Inarissa". Kaleva (in Finnish). Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  56. ^ "Mikkel Näkkäläjärvi osallistui 15-vuotiaana eläkeläisnaisen kissan surmaan – näin tapahtumat etenivät". Iltasanomat (in Finnish). 6 September 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2024.
  57. ^ "Tutkimus: Tällaisia puolueiden jäsenet ovat – keskusta ja SDP eläkeikäisten puolueita ja perussuomalaiset miesten". Yle Uutiset (in Finnish). 27 March 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.