Finland - Political parties

Party descriptions and CMP left-right scores
Party Type 91 95 99 03 Average
Kok Conservative/liberal -4.5 14.6 29.5 9.8 12.3
SDP Social Democratic 1.2 -13.7 -1.4 -24.7 -9.7
Perus Agrarian/nationalist 5 13.1 -5.9 -5.9 1.6
Kesk Agrarian 1.3 26.8 -1 -7.6 4.9
VL (VAS) Communist -30.4 -14.9 -38.2 -46 -32.3
Vihr Ecologist -38.6 -13.4 -6.2 -33.5 -23
SFP/RKP Ethnic-regional -7.7 4.2 14.5 -19.9 -2.2
KD Christian Democrat 5 24.3 19.4 7.8 14.1

The table shows the periodical scores on left-right position as given in the Comparative Manifesto Project (Volkens, Andrea,, 2010). The scores range from -100 (left) to +100 (right).

Type: Tentative grouping of political parties and alliances based on information provided in the Comparative Manifesto Project and from party descriptions in Europa World Yearbook, Encyclopædia Britannica and in election reports from the European Journal of Political Research and/or Electoral Studies.

Kok - National Coalition Party - (Kansallinen Kokomuus)

Founded in 1918 on the basis of the Old-Finnish party. KOK today subscribes to a liberal-conservative ideology. Along with SDP and KESK, KOK is one of the most influential parties in Finnish politics today. Since 1990 the party has participated in all government coalitions but it has held the prime ministerial seat only once (1987-1991).

SDP - Social Democratic Party of Finland - (Suomen Sosialidemokraatinen Puolue)

Established in 1899. The SDKP is a moderate social democratic party that remains one of the most influential parties in Finnish politics. All presidents since 1982 has come from the SDKP and the party has also participated in various government coalition arrangements throughout the period since 1990.

Perus - True Finns - (Perussuomalaiset)

A populist party founded in 1995 on the ruins of the Finnish Agrarian Party (a KESK splinter party from the 1950s). It is considered a nationalist, eurosceptic and anti-establishment party.

Kesk - Centre Party of Finland - (Suomen Keskusta)

Founded in 1908. KESK was originally an agrarian party (named Agrarian League until 1965), but is today known as a liberal-conservative centre party in Finnish politics. KESK has held the seat of the prime minister three times under various coalition arrangements.

VL (VAS) - Left Alliance - (Vasemmistoliitto)

Founded in 1990 as a merger between the Finnish People’s Democratic League (SKDL), Finnish Women’s Democratic League (SNDL) and the Communist Party of Finland (SKP). While aiming at associating with the New Left, social justice and environment, VAS is often associated with communism. The party obtained one seat in Lipponen's (SDKP) second cabinet of 1999-2003.

Vihr - Green League - (Vihreä liitto)

Established in 1987 as an environmentalist liberal party. The VIHR has participated in government on serveral occasions and was the first green party in Europe to ever obtain a ministerial position (1995).

SFP/RKP - Swedish People’s Party - (Svenska Folkpartiet)

Swedish minority party established in 1906 that draws support mainly from the Swedish speaking population. Ideologically it is a liberal party. The party has frequently joined government coalitions.

KD - Christian Democrats - (Kristillisdemokraatit)

Initially known as the Finnish Christian League (Suomen Kristillinen Liitto, SKL ) the party was founded as a splinter from KOK in 1958. It gained its current name prior to the 2001 election. It is a traditional Christian-democratic conservative party. Between 1991-1994, the party took part in a government coalition.


Political Organizations (Finland). 2009. In Europa World online. London, Routledge. University of Bergen. Retrieved October 2009 from

Electoral Studies (Elsevier), election reports on Finland.

European Journal of Political Research (European Consortium for Political Research), reports on Finland.

Budge, I.; Klingemann, H.-D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Tanenbaum, E., with Fording, R.C.; Hearl, D.J.; Kim, H.M.; McDonald, M. and Mendez, S. (2001). Mapping Policy Preferences. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments 1945-1998. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Klingemann, H.D.; Volkens, A.; Bara, J.; Budge, I.; McDonald, M. (2006). Mapping Policy Preferences II. Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, the European Union and the OECD, 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Volkens, Andrea; Lacewell, Onawa; Regel, Sven; Schultze, Henrike; Werner, Annika (2010): The Manifesto Data Collection. Manifesto Project (MRG/CMP/MARPOR), Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB):