The article aims to describe and analyse the 1988 presidential election in Finland. The parties and candidates in the election are presented and the electoral system is discussed. For the first time a double‐vote system was used in which there are two ballots, one for the direct election of the president and one for the elector of the president. If a candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, then that candidate is elected. If, however, no candidate receives 50 percent or more of the vote, then the electoral college elects the president. Although it was fairly certain that the incumbent president Mauno Koivisto would be re‐elected, the campaign was a heated one, with the electorate very politically engaged. It is concluded that despite the fact regional differences between north and south Finland were aggravated—the candidate for the opposition, Paavo Väyrynen, received considerable support especially in northern Finland‐the presidential election showed that the Finnish political system functions relatively smoothly and that its overall effect is highly legitimizing.
Scandinavian Political Studies – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1988