1. Background analysis of candidates in the Parliamentary elections 2015

The following review examines persons entitled to vote in the Parliamentary elections 2015 and the candidates nominated by the parties according to various background information. The data on persons entitled to vote derive from the voting register established on 4 March 2015 and the data on the candidates from the candidate register set up on 19 March 2015. The background data are based on statistical data from Statistics Finland, such as population, employment and family statistics and the Register of Completed Education and Degrees. Only persons resident in Finland are included in the examination on persons entitled to vote. The parties that got candidates elected into parliament in the 2011 Parliament elections are presented in the Figures and Tables, and in the analysis they are called "Parliamentary parties". The data on the candidates of other parties and constituency associations are summed under the group "Others".

The candidates differ in their age structure and by sex from all persons entitled to vote. This should be taken into consideration when comparing the candidates with persons entitled to vote. In the tables and figures of this analysis, the data are not age-standardised. Standardisation would slightly lower the difference between the candidates and those entitled to vote for example when comparing the level of education, main type of activity, family status and socio-economic group among the candidates and persons entitled to vote.

1.1. Candidates and persons entitled to vote by sex

Women’s share of the candidates has stabilised at 40 per cent

The total number of candidates nominated in the Parliamentary elections is 2,146, which is 169 fewer candidates than in the previous election but still 142 more than in the 2007 Parliamentary elections. In the 2011 elections, nearly all parliamentary parties nominated more candidates than in 2007. Now, only the Swedish People's Party in Finland (RKP) and Christian Democrats in Finland nominated more candidates than in the previous elections. The Swedish People's Party in Finland increased their number of candidates by 25 per cent from 83 to 104. (Table 1)

Table 1. Number of candidates by party in Parliamentary elections 2007, 2011 and 2015

 Party Number of candidates
by party
Change from the
previous elections,, (%) 
 2007  2011  2015 2011  2015
Candidates
total
2,004 2,315 2,146 15.5 -7.3
   National
   Coalition Party
   KOK
225 232 214 3.1 -7.8
   The Finnish
   Social Democratic
   Party
   SDP
230 238 216 3.5 -9.2
   The Finns Party
   PS
168 238 215 41.7 -9.7
   Centre Party
   of Finland
   KESK
233 233 216 0.0 -7.3
   The Left Alliance
   VAS
208 236 216 13.5 -8.5
   Green
   League
   VIHR
202 228 208 12.9 -8.8
   Swedish People’s
   Party in Finland
   RKP
75 83 104 10.7 25.3
   Christian Democrats
   in Finland
   KD
188 191 193 1.6 1.0
   Others 475 636 564 33.9 -11.3

Of the candidates, 1,301 are men and 845 are women. In relative terms, the Finns Party (35.3%) and Centre Party of Finland (39.8%) nominated least female candidates of the parliamentary parties in the 2015 elections. Among the major parties, the Finns Party is the only party where the proportion of women lies below the average (39.4%). The Green League (56.3%) and the Finnish Social Democratic Party (47.2%) have most female candidates. Only the Green League has more female than male candidates. A majority, or 51.5 per cent, of the persons entitled to vote are women. (Figure 1, Table 2)

Figure 1. Persons entitled to vote and candidates by sex and party in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 1. Persons entitled to vote and candidates by sex and party in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Women's proportion of the candidates has remained on the same level throughout the 2000s, i.e. marginally under 40 per cent. The Finns Party has increased its proportion of women candidates since 2003 by ten percentage points. Despite this, the proportion of women candidates among the Finns Party's candidates is the lowest among the parliamentary parties. In addition to the Finns Party, the National Coalition Party, the Green League and the Christian Democrats in Finland have increased their proportion of women of all candidates compared with the previous elections.

Table 2. Women's proportion of persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) in Parliamentary elections 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, %

Party   2003   2007   2011   2015  
Persons entitled
to vote
51.7 51.6 51.6 51.5
Candidates 39.8 39.9 39.0 39.4
   National
   Coalition Party
   KOK
49.1 44.0 44.8 46.3
   The Finnish
   Social Democratic
   Party
   SDP
48.0 49.1 43.3 47.2
   The Finns Party
   PS
24.6 25.0 33.2 35.3
   Centre Party
   of Finland
   KESK
41.5 43.8 41.2 39.8
   The Left Alliance
   VAS
44.6 45.7 43.6 43.1
   Green
   League
   VIHR
52.2 52.5 51.8 56.3
   Swedish People’s
   Party in Finland
   RKP
41.6 45.3 44.6 44.2
   Christian Democrats
   in Finland
   KD
40.9 39.4 42.9 45.6
   Others 28.1 28.2 28.5 24.5

Least women candidates in the constituencies of Vaasa and Lapland

In the 2015 elections, least women candidates are found in the constituencies of Vaasa and Lapland, i.e. around 36 per cent. The proportion of women candidates was at the same level also in the 2007 and 2011 elections. In the constituency of Lapland, the proportion of women candidates grew compared to the 2011 elections with a couple of percentage points, but it is still three percentage points lower than in the 2007 elections. (Figure 2, Table 3)

Of the constituencies in Mainland Finland, the constituency of Häme has most women candidates (42.5%). Also in the constituencies of Helsinki, Varsinais-Suomi, Central Finland and Oulu the proportion of women is over 40 per cent. Of the seven candidates in the constituency of Åland, four are women, i.e. 57 per cent.

In nearly all constituencies, the majority of persons entitled to vote are women. The majority is strongest in the constituency of Helsinki, where 54.3 per cent of the persons entitled to vote are women. In the constituencies of Oulu and Lapland, there are nearly as many women as men entitled to vote.

The under-representation of women among candidates was largest in the constituencies of Vaasa, Lapland and Pirkanmaa, where there were 14 percentage points fewer women candidates than their proportion of persons entitled to vote. This difference is smallest in the constituencies of Häme, Central Finland and Oulu, i.e. under ten percentage points.

Figure 2. Women’s proportion of persons entitled to vote and candidates by constituency in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 2. Women’s proportion of persons entitled to vote and candidates by constituency in Parliamentary elections 2015, %
Åland constituency excluded from the figure due to the low number of candidates

Table 3. Women’s proportion of candidates by constituency in Parliamentary elections 2007, 2011 and 2015, % 1)

Constituency Women’s proportion of candidates, %  
2007   2011   2015  
Whole country 39.9 39.0 39.4
  Helsinki 40.8 40.8 41.3
  Uusimaa 42.6 40.9 39.6
  Varsinais-Suomi 39.6 40.3 41.0
  Satakunta 37.4 40.2 38.1
  Häme 39.0 38.6 42.5
  Pirkanmaa 44.1 36.7 37.4
  Southeast Finland 37.1 36.3 38.9
  Savo-Karelia 41.0 40.7 38.1
  Vaasa 36.1 36.1 35.9
  Central Finland 37.9 41.8 40.9
  Oulu 37.2 38.5 40.6
  Lapland 38.6 33.3 35.6
1) Åland constituency excluded from the table due to the low number of candidates

One third of the candidates also ran in 2011

Of the candidates in the Parliamentary elections 2015, good one-third also ran in the 2011 elections and around 15 per cent had been candidates both in the 2011 and 2007 elections. Among the parliamentary parties, the Finnish Social Democratic Party (45.8%) and the Finns Party (42.8%) have most of the same candidates in the elections compared to the previous elections. The Swedish People's Party (26.9%) and the Christian Democrats in Finland (29.0%) have least of the same candidates. The Swedish People's Party in Finland and the Christian Democrats in Finland are the only parties that increased their number of candidates from the previous elections, the Swedish People's Party in Finland by as much as one-quarter.

Figure 3. Proportion of the same candidates (by party) in the Parliamentary elections 2007, 2011 and 2015, % of the party’s candidates

Figure 3. Proportion of the same candidates (by party) in the Parliamentary elections 2007, 2011 and 2015, % of the party’s candidates

1.2. Age structure

Candidates are, on average, 4.5 years younger than persons entitled to vote

The average age of male candidates is 46.1 years and that of female candidates 45.2 years. On average, female candidates are around six years younger than persons entitled to vote and men candidates close on three years younger. The average age of persons entitled to vote has risen by close on one year since the previous Parliamentary elections On the day of the election, the average age of persons entitled to vote is now 48.9 for men and 51.5 for women.

The age structure of the candidates is very different from that of persons entitled to vote (Figures 4 and 5). The age pyramid of neither group is no longer a pyramid as the name indicates. The pyramid of persons entitled to vote, is uniform up to those aged 70, after which the age groups shrink considerably. The pyramid of the candidates shows the majority of men in all age groups and the fact that the youngest and oldest age groups are missing. There are most male candidates aged 30 to 34 and 50 to 54. For female candidates, the focus is on the age groups 35 to 39 and 45 to 54.

Figure 4. Age distributions of persons entitled to vote by sex in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of all persons entitled to vote

Figure 4. Age distributions of persons entitled to vote by sex in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of all persons entitled to vote

Figure 5. Age distributions of candidates by sex in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of all candidates

Figure 5. Age distributions of candidates by sex in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of all candidates

The Christian Democrats in Finland have the oldest candidates

Of the parliamentary parties, the Christian Democrats in Finland have the oldest candidates: the average age of their candidates is 49.7 years and there are 12.2 per cent of candidates aged 65 or over. In turn, the Green League candidates are the youngest. Around one-third of the Green League candidates are aged under 35, and the average age of the candidates is 40.6 years. Around one-quarter of the candidates of all parties are aged under 35 and around ten per cent are aged 65 or over. (Figure 6, Table 4)

Figure 6. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by age groups in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 6. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by age groups in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Table 4. Average age of candidates by sex and party in Parliamentary elections 2015

Party   Total   Men   Women   
Persons entitled
to vote
50.3 48.9 51.5
Candidates 45.8 46.1 45.2
   National
   Coalition Party
   KOK
45.5 46.5 44.3
   The Finnish
   Social Democratic
   Party
   SDP
44.6 45.6 43.5
   The Finns Party
   PS
47.3 48.6 44.9
   Centre Party
   of Finland
   KESK
47.1 48.1 45.5
   The Left Alliance
   VAS
43.3 43.6 42.8
   Green
   League
   VIHR
40.6 40.8 40.4
   Swedish People’s
   Party in Finland
   RKP
44.5 45.4 43.3
   Christian Democrats
   in Finland
   KD
49.7 50.4 48.9
   Others 47.0 45.7 51.0

1.3. Foreign background

The Swedish People’s Party in Finland has most foreign-language speaking candidates

The proportion of foreign-language speaking candidates was slightly higher than that of persons entitled to vote. Of the candidates, 2.2 per cent are foreign-language speakers, while of the persons entitled to vote, 1.7 per cent speak a foreign language as their native language (Table 5). The proportion of foreign-language speaking candidates has decreased somewhat from the 2011 Parliamentary elections, even though the share of foreign-language speakers entitled to vote has increased. More than one-half of foreign-language speaking candidates are running in the constituencies of Helsinki or Uusimaa.

There are also slightly more Swedish speaking candidates than persons entitled to vote. Of the persons entitled to vote, 5.3 per cent speak Swedish as their native language, while 6.6 per cent of candidates do. In Mainland Finland, the Swedish speaking candidates are focused on the constituencies of Vaasa, Uusimaa and Helsinki.

Table 5. Persons entitled to vote and candidates by language in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

 Sex Persons entitled to vote  Candidates
Total Finnish,
Sami 
Swedish Other
language
Total Finnish,
Sami 
Swedish Other
language
Total 100.0 92.9 5.3 1.7 100.0 91.3 6.6 2.2
Men 100.0 92.9 5.5 1.6 100.0 91.4 6.4 2.2
Women 100.0 92.9 5.2 1.9 100.0 91.1 6.9 2.0

The Swedish People's Party in Finland, nearly five per cent, and the Finnish Social Democratic Party, 3.2 per cent have most foreign-language speaking candidates (Figure 7). The Finns Party and the National Coalition Party, in turn, have least foreign-language speaking candidates.

Figure 7. Foreign-language speakers’ proportion of persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 7. Foreign-language speakers’ proportion of persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

2.5 per cent of candidates are of foreign origin

The foreign background of the population can also be examined by the person's origin. Persons, whose both parents (or only parent) have been born abroad are defined as persons of foreign origin. In the Parliamentary elections 2015, altogether 2.5 per cent of candidates and close on two per cent of persons entitled to vote are of foreign origin. The proportion of persons of foreign origin has grown somewhat both among candidates and persons entitled to vote. The proportion of persons of foreign origin among everyone living in Finland is, however, higher, as only Finnish citizens are entitled to vote and eligible to stand as candidates in the Parliamentary elections. In 2007, altogether 3.5 per cent of the population living in Finland were of foreign origin and at the end of 2014 the share was 5.5 per cent.

Figure 8. The proportion of persons of foreign origin among persons entitled to vote and candidates in Parliamentary elections 2007, 2011 and 2015, %

Figure 8. The proportion of persons of foreign origin among persons entitled to vote and candidates in Parliamentary elections 2007, 2011 and 2015, %
Latest data concerning the population living in Finland is from at the end of 2014

Of the parliamentary parties, the Swedish People's Party in Finland (3.8%), the Finnish Social Democratic Party (3.2%), and the Left Alliance (2.8%) have most candidates of foreign origin. Of the parties outside the parliament, around six per cent of the candidates of the Communist Party of Finland and good three per cent of the candidates of the Independence Party are of foreign origin. Of the parliamentary parties, the Finns Party have least candidates of foreign origin, close on one per cent. (Figure 9)

Figure 9. Proportion of candidates of foreign origin by party in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 9. Proportion of candidates of foreign origin by party in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

1.4. Educational level

More and more highly educated people are seeking entry to the Parliament

Highly educated people are seeking entry to the Parliament. Already nearly one-half of the candidates have tertiary level qualifications, while only around 20 per cent of persons entitled to vote do. Of all candidates, only 9.6 per cent have only basic level education, but among persons entitled to vote, the share of those with only basic level education is 27.3 per cent. (Figure 10, Table 6)

The education level of candidates has risen from one election to another. In the 2007 elections, around 14 per cent of candidates had only basic level education and in the 2015 elections close on ten per cent. Correspondingly, the share of candidates with tertiary level qualifications has increased from the 2007 elections by around ten percentage points, from 39.4 to 48.7 per cent.

The candidates of the National Coalition Party have the highest level of education, 55 per cent of them have higher university or doctorate level degrees. The Left Alliance (22.2%) and the Finns Party (23.7%) have the lowest proportion of candidates with this level of education.

Figure 10. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by educational level in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 10. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by educational level in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Table 6. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by educational level in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Party  Total  Basic
level  
Upper
secondary
level  
Lowest
level
tertiary  
Lower-degree
level
tertiary  
Higher-degree
level tertiary
doctorate   
Persons
entitled
to vote
100.0 27.2 42.2 10.7 10.3 9.6
Candidates 100.0 9.1 33.3 8.6 16.6 32.4
   National
   Coalition
   Party
   KOK
100.0 5.1 14.0 13.1 12.6 55.1
   Green
   League
   VIHR
100.0 1.4 21.7 1.9 23.2 51.7
   Centre
   Party
   of Finland
   KESK
100.0 2.8 22.0 12.1 15.0 48.1
   Christian
   Democrats
   in Finland
   KD    
100.0 7.8 27.6 9.4 14.1 41.1
   Swedish
   People's
   Party
   in Finland
   RKP
100.0 7.7 29.8 3.8 18.3 40.4
   The Finnish
   Social
   Democratic
   Party
   SDP
100.0 6.0 33.3 8.8 19.9 31.9
   The Finns
   Party
   PS
100.0 5.6 36.7 15.3 18.6 23.7
  The  Left
   Alliance
   VAS  
100.0 8.3 39.8 5.6 24.1 22.2
   Others  100.0 19.5 48.2 7.2 11.8 13.3

1.5. Labour market position

A majority of candidates are in working life

The biggest difference in the main activity of candidates and persons entitled to vote is found in the share of employed persons and pensioners. The latest statistical data are from the end of 2013. At that time, a little over one-half of all persons entitled to vote were employed, while over 70 per cent of the candidates were employed. There are, in turn, clearly more pensioners among persons entitled to vote than among candidates, i.e. around 30 per cent. Around one in ten of the candidates are pensioners. The difference is mainly caused by the age structure. Of the candidates, fewer than ten per cent are aged 65 or over, while 26 per cent of the persons entitled to vote have turned 65. If the candidates are compared with the persons entitled to vote aged under 65, the difference between the candidates and persons entitled to vote decreases.

Nearly 90 per cent of the Centre Party of Finland and the Finnish Social Democratic Party are employed. Over 80 per cent of the candidates of the National Coalition Party, the Green League and the Finns Party are also employed. Among the parliamentary parties, the lowest share of employed persons is found in the Left Alliance (73.1%). The share of pensioners is exceptionally high among candidates outside the parliamentary parties. Among the parliamentary parties, the Christian Democrats in Finland and the Swedish People's Party in Finland have most pensioner candidates. (Figure 11, Table 7)

There is roughly the same proportion of students and unemployed persons among persons entitled to vote and candidates. The Left Alliance and the Green League have most student candidates, and the Left Alliance and the Finns Party have most unemployed candidates.

Figure 11. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by main type of activity in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 11. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by main type of activity in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Table 7. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by main type of activity in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

 Party Total  Employed   Unemployed   Students   Pensioners   Others   
Persons
entitled
to vote
100.0 52.4 7.1 7.0 29.9 3.7
Persons
entitled
to vote,
18 to 64 years
100.0 69.9 9.6 9.5 6.5 4.5
Candidates 100.0 72.2 7.7 7.3 10.0 2.9
   Centre
   Party
   of Finland
   KESK
100.0 89.7 1.4 4.7 3.7 0.5
   The Finnish
   Social
   Democratic
   Party
   SDP
100.0 88.4 3.2 3.7 3.7 0.9
   National
   Coalition
   Party
   KOK    
100.0 84.6 1.9 5.1 7.0 1.4
   Green
   League
   VIHR
100.0 80.2 4.8 11.1 1.0 2.9
   The Finns
   Party
   PS 
100.0 79.5 9.8 2.8 6.0 1.9
   Christian
   Democrats
   in Finland
   KD
100.0 77.1 4.7 4.2 10.4 3.6
   Swedish
   People's
   Party
   in Finland
   RKP
100.0 74.0 4.8 8.7 8.7 3.8
   The Left
   Alliance
   VAS
100.0 73.1 10.2 11.6 4.2 0.9
   Others  100.0 46.2 14.9 9.9 23.1 5.9

Highest employment rate among candidates of the Centre Party of Finland, the Finnish Social Democratic Party, and the National Coalition Party

The employment rate refers to the ratio of employed persons to the population of a particular age, usually the age group 15 to 64 is used. Here, the employment rate has been calculated for the age group 18 to 64. The employment rate of persons entitled to vote is 69.6 per cent (Figure 12). The employment rate of candidates is clearly higher. The employment rate of all candidates is 77.1 per cent. The employment rate is highest among candidates of the Centre Party of Finland, the Finnish Social Democratic Party, and the National Coalition Party: their employment rate is around 90 per cent. The Left Alliance has the lowest employment rate among parliamentary parties, 74.4 per cent.

Women's employment rate is usually higher. The employment rate of women entitled to vote is 3.7 percentage points higher than that of men, and the rate of women candidates is 4.1 percentage points higher than that of men candidates. There are, however, differences between the parties. Women's employment rate is higher than men's employment rate for the candidates of the National Coalition Party, the Finns Party and the Centre Party of Finland. The employment rate is highest for the women candidates of the National Coalition Party, nearly 96 per cent.

Figure 12. Employment rate of persons entitled to vote and candidates by party in Parliamentary elections 2015, share of employed persons aged 18 to 64, %

Figure 12. Employment rate of persons entitled to vote and candidates by party in Parliamentary elections 2015, share of employed persons aged 18 to 64, %

Majority of employed candidates salaried employees

Around 70 per cent of employed candidates are salaried employees. Around 58 per cent of employed persons entitled to vote belong to this group. The Christian Democrats in Finland and the Swedish People's Party in Finland have most salaried employees as candidates (around 80 per cent). For all parliamentary parties, the proportion of salaried employees is higher among candidates than among persons entitled to vote. However, the number of salaried employees among candidates of parties outside the parliament and constituency associations is clearly lower. (Figure 13)

One in ten persons entitled to vote and slightly more of the candidates (13%) are self-employed . Most candidates with entrepreneurial background can be found in the National Coalition Party, Centre Party of Finland and the Finns Party. The socio-economic group of 29 per cent of persons entitled to vote is worker. A clearly smaller proportion of candidates belong to this group (12.9%). The Left Alliance and the Finnish Social Democratic Party have most worker candidates. Of candidates outside the parliamentary parties, the proportion of workers is very close to that of persons entitled to vote.

Figure 13. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by socio-economic position in the Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 13. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by socio-economic position in the Parliamentary elections 2015, %

The central government sector employs candidates more than persons entitled to vote

Of employed candidates, 45 per cent works in the public sector. Roughly the same proportion of candidates and persons entitled to vote work in the local government sector but the central government sector employs clearly more MP candidates than persons entitled to vote. When around six per cent of all persons entitled to vote work in the central government sector, among candidates their proportion is nearly one-fifth. This is largely explained by the fact that 159 of the candidates are Members of Parliament who are thus employed by the central government sector. If we only examine candidates who are not Members of Parliament at the moment, the proportion of employees in the central government sector is still emphasised among candidates: 10.6 per cent of new candidates work in the central government sector. (Figure 14)

The employer sector of the candidates varies significantly by party. The Finns Party (32.2%) has most candidates working in the central government sector and the Christian Democrats in Finland have least (9.2%). Most local government sector employees can be found among the candidates in the Green League (36.3%) and most private sector employees among candidates in the Left Alliance (52.1%). The National Coalition Party (19.8%) and the Centre Party of Finland (18.3%) have most self-employed candidates.

Figure 14. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by employer sector in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 14. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by employer sector in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

1.6. Family status

One-quarter of persons entitled to vote and one-fifth of candidates live alone

The candidates also differ in their family status from persons entitled to vote: considerably more of them are parents of a family with children and clearly less are childless couples than is the case among persons entitled to vote. This is of course explained by that the age structure of candidates is younger than among persons entitled to vote. For a majority of those entitled to vote, children have already moved from home, while most candidates are at an age when children are still living at home.

Of all persons entitled to vote, nearly one-quarter are parents living in two-parent families. Four per cent of all persons entitled to vote are single parents. Of persons entitled to vote, approximately 33 per cent are childless couples, close on 25 per cent live alone without a family, and around eight per cent are young adults living at home. The remaining roughly five per cent are persons without a family living together with others, are homeless or in the institutional population.

The National Coalition Party and the Centre Party of Finland have most candidates that are parents living in two-parent families. Around one-half of the candidates in these parties belong to this group. The Left Alliance has least candidates that are parents of a married/cohabiting family. Of all candidates, 5.6 per cent are single parents. The Finnish Social Democratic Party and the Green League have most candidates in this group, slightly over seven per cent. (Figure 15, Table 8)

Figure 15. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by family status in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 15. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by family status in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

The Swedish People's Party in Finland (13.5%) and the Centre Party of Finland (8.4%) have most candidates that are young adults living at home. The Left Alliance and the Finns Party have most candidates that live alone without a family, around one-fifth.

Table 8. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by family status in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Party  Parent of a
married/
cohabiting
family 
Single
parent 
Childless
couple  
Living
alone  
Young
adult
living
at home   
Other 
Persons
entitled
to vote
25.1 4.0 33.5 24.4 7.8 5.2
Candidates 39.2 5.6 24.2 20.5 5.2 5.1
   National
   Coalition
   Party
   KOK    
51.4 6.1 20.1 12.6 6.1 3.7
   Centre
   Party
   of Finland
   KESK
50.0 6.5 17.8 15.4 8.4 1.9
   The Finnish
   Social
   Democratic
   Party
   SDP
46.3 7.4 25.0 16.2 4.2 0.9
   Christian
   Democrats
   in Finland
   KD
45.3 3.1 32.8 10.9 3.1 4.7
   Green
   League
   VIHR
44.0 7.2 23.7 14.5 4.3 6.7
   The Finns
   Party
   PS 
42.8 6.5 24.7 19.5 2.8 3.7
   Swedish People's
   Party
   in Finland
   RKP
42.3 5.8 19.2 14.4 13.5 4.8
   The Left
   Alliance
   VAS         
40.3 5.1 25.0 20.4 3.2 6.0
   Others  21.3 4.4 25.7 33.9 5.1 9.6

Altogether, 44 per cent of persons entitled to vote are married and 15 per cent cohabit. Of the candidates, nearly one-half are married and 14 per cent cohabit. The candidates of the Christian Democrats in Finland differ most from the voters in that 75 per cent of them are married. The Green League (46.2%) and the Left Alliance (49.1%) have least married candidates. The Green League and the Finnish Social Democratic Party have most cohabiting candidates.


1.7. Number of children

Candidates of Christian Democrats in Finland have most children

Although the majority of persons entitled to vote and many candidates are not at the moment going through the everyday life of a family with children, it does not mean that they do not have experiences of it. Nearly 35 per cent of persons entitled to vote have never had or do not yet have children of their own, while about 30 per cent of the candidates are completely childless. The Christian Democrats have the lowest proportion of candidates without children, only around 20 per cent. (Figure 16)

Figure 16. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by number of children in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

Figure 16. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by number of children in Parliamentary elections 2015, %

On average, female candidates have 1.8 children and male candidates 1.7 children (Figure 17). Women entitled to vote have on average 1.6 children and men 1.4. These figures include all biological and adopted children of the person regardless of their age or whether they still live at home.

Figure 17. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by number of children (on average) in Parliamentary elections 2015

Figure 17. Persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) by number of children (on average) in Parliamentary elections 2015

1.8. Income level

Candidates from National Coalition Party and the Centre Party have the highest income

The following examines the candidates and the persons entitled to vote by their disposable income. The income data derive from the latest taxation data from 2013. The income concept used is disposable monetary income. Income refers to the monetary income after taxes and consists of earned income, property income, and transfer income.

The median disposable income of the candidates is EUR 28,290 and that of all persons entitled to vote is EUR 20,390 (Figure 18). The candidates' disposable income is on average 40 per cent higher than of all persons entitled to vote.

The National Coalition Party and the Centre Party candidates have the biggest income difference with persons entitled to vote, as their disposable income is more than two times higher compared with persons entitled to vote. The income of candidates in the Finnish Social Democrats and the Swedish People's Party in Finland is around 70 per cent higher than that of those entitled to vote. Of the parliamentary parties, the Left Alliance is closest to the voters with a EUR 26,600 disposable income.

Figure 18. Median disposable income of persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) in Parliamentary elections 2015, EUR per year

Figure 18. Median disposable income of persons entitled to vote and candidates (by party) in Parliamentary elections 2015, EUR per year

When the population entitled to vote is arranged according to income and divided into ten equal parts, the income deciles of the population entitled to vote are generated. Each decile contains around 422,500 persons. The highest-income decile of the population entitled to vote has at least EUR 37,900 at their disposal and the lowest-income decile at most EUR 8,300.

Of all candidates, 30 per cent belong to the highest-income decile. Of the candidates, those representing the National Coalition Party, the Centre Party of Finland, the Swedish People's Party in Finland, the Finnish Social Democrats, and the Finns Party belong to the higher end of the income distribution. Of them, more than 40 per cent belong to the highest-income decile, and of the National Coalition Party and the Centre Party of Finland candidates as many as nearly 60 per cent. (Figures 19 and 20, Table 9)

Figure 19. Candidates (by party) belonging to the highest income decile in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of the party’s candidates (disposable monetary income)

Figure 19. Candidates (by party) belonging to the highest income decile in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of the party’s candidates (disposable monetary income)

One-tenth of all persons entitled to vote thus belong to the lowest-income decile. Of the candidates, slightly fewer, around nine per cent, belong to this decile. Of the candidates of parties outside the Parliament and constituency associations 16.6 per cent belong to the lowest-income decile, and of the Swedish People's Party in Finland, 10.7 per cent. The Finnish Social Democrats have the least candidates belonging to the lowest-income decile, only 2.3 per cent.

Figure 20. Candidates (by party) belonging to the lowest income decile in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of the party’s candidates (disposable monetary income)

Figure 20. Candidates (by party) belonging to the lowest income decile in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of the party’s candidates (disposable monetary income)

Table 9. Candidates belonging to the highest and lowest-income decile by party in Parliamentary elections 2015, % of the party’s candidates

Party  Highest–income decile   Lowest–income decile  
Total   Men   Women  Total   Men   Women 
Candidates 30.9 30.6 31.3 8.6 9.6 7.0
   National
   Coalition
   Party
   KOK     
58.9 60.0 57.6 3.3 4.3 2.0
   The Finnish
   Social
   Democratic
   Party
   SDP
42.1 40.4 44.1 2.3 2.6 2.0
   The Finns
   Party
   PS
40.9 43.9 35.5 4.2 5.0 2.6
   Centre
   Party
   of Finland
   KESK
58.8 63.8 51.2 5.1 6.9 2.3
   The Left
   Alliance
   VAS
20.8 26.0 14.0 6.5 6.5 6.5
   Green
   League
   VIHR
27.1 28.9 25.6 8.7 7.8 9.4
   Swedish
   People's
   Party
   in Finland
   RKP
42.7 44.8 40.0 10.7 13.8 6.7
   Christian
   Democrats
   in Finland
   KD
25.4 24.8 26.1 7.8 7.6 8.0
   Others   6.3 6.6 5.1 16.6 16.3 17.5

Source: Parliamentary Elections 2015, nomination of candidates, background analysis of persons entitled to vote and candidates, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Sami Fredriksson 029 551 2696, Kaija Ruotsalainen 029 551 3599, Jaana Asikainen 029 551 3506, vaalit@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala


Updated 10.4.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Parliamentary elections [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-6279. nomination of candidates 2015, 1. Background analysis of candidates in the Parliamentary elections 2015 . Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 10.12.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/evaa/2015/01/evaa_2015_01_2015-04-10_kat_001_en.html