Municipal elections: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
- candidate (person)
- elected councillor (person)
- person entitled to vote (person)
Unit of measure
Data published after the control calculation are final.
Frequency of dissemination
Advance polling stations
1) general advance polling stations in Finland laid down in a Decree
2) Finnish diplomatic missions set out by a decree
3) hospitals and prisons (institutions)
4) Finnish ships
5) a voter's residence (subject to certain preconditions).
As a rule, advance votes are counted on the actual election day, Sunday, at 15.00 pm. The count may be advanced in large electoral districts; the earliest possible starting time is at 12 noon. The objective is to finish the counting of advance votes by 20.00 pm, from which time onwards advance data can be released.
Advance voting commences on the 11th and ends on the 8th day before the election day both in Finland and abroad.
Advance voting percentage
In Statistics Finland statistics the share is calculated from all persons who voted. On the Ministry of Justice's Internet pages the percentage is calculated from all persons entitled to vote.
The order of candidates belonging to a party that is not in an electoral alliance or to a joint electoral list is determined by the number of votes cast for them personally. The candidates are assigned a comparative index. For the first candidate on a party list or a joint electoral list the comparative index is the total number of votes cast for the party or joint electoral list, the second candidate's comparative index is one-half of that and the third candidate's one-third etc. The comparative indices of the candidates from parties belonging to an electoral alliance are based on the total number of votes cast for the electoral alliance. The comparative index of a candidate not belonging to a joint electoral list is the total number of votes cast for him/her personally.
Council (council seats)
The new Election Act was applied for the first time in the Parliamentary elections of 1999. The new division into constituencies based on the division into regions was applied for the first time in the Parliamentary elections held in spring 2003.
In all elections related concepts the date of ratification is considered to be the first day of being in force. After its entry into force, the new Act has been applied to all general elections.
Eligible as candidates in municipal elections are persons
1) whose municipality of residence is the municipality in question
2) who are entitled to vote in municipal elections in some municipality, and
3) who are not under guardianship (legally incompetent).
All persons entitled to vote and not under guardianship can stand as candidates in parliamentary elections. A person holding military office cannot, however, be elected as a representative. In addition certain high officials may not serve as representatives unless they resign from office.
Eligible as candidates in European Parliamentary elections are
1) all Finnish citizens who are entitled to vote in elections and not legally incompetent
2) all citizens of a Member State of the EU who are entitled to vote and who have registered and been entered into the voting register in Finland, and who have not lost eligibility in elections in their home state.
Native-born Finnish citizens are eligible in Presidential elections.
Entitled to vote
In European Parliamentary elections, a citizen of another European Union Member State is also entitled to vote provided the person has reached the age of 18 no later than on the day of the election and whose municipality of residence referred to in the Municipality of Residence Act (201/1994) is in Finland provided the person has not lost the right to vote in European elections in the country of which he/she is a citizen (Election Act, Section 2).
1) the ballot envelope contains something else or more than one ballot paper
2) the ballot envelope has an unauthorised mark
3) something other than a ballot paper printed by the Ministry of Justice has been used as the ballot paper
4) the ballot paper has not been stamped
5) the candidate's number has been written unclearly
6) the elector's name or distinctive identification or some other inappropriate marking has been made on the ballot paper.
In addition to the above, statistics are compiled also on the number of empty ballots.
Elections are held, i.e. the council is elected, every four years on the third Sunday of October. This size of the council varies according to the population of the municipality (number of councillors ranges between 17 and 85).
Nomination of candidates
Parliamentary election candidates can be nominated by registered political parties and constituency associations established by at least 100 persons entitled to vote. When nominating candidates two or more political parties have the right to form an electoral alliance by mutual agreement. Correspondingly, two or more constituency associations have the right to form a joint electoral list. Each party, electoral alliance or joint electoral list can nominate a maximum of 14 candidates in each electoral district. If, by virtue of a Government decision, more than 14 candidates are elected from an electoral district, the number of candidates may be at most the number of candidates elected from that electoral district.
Municipal election candidates can be nominated by political parties and a minimum of 10 persons entitled to vote, who have established a constituency association. When nominating candidates two or more political parties have the right to form an electoral alliance by mutual agreement. Correspondingly, two or more constituency associations have the right to form a joint electoral list. A party, an electoral alliance or a joint electoral list can nominate at most one and a half times as many candidates as there are places for elected representatives.
European Parliamentary elections:
European Parliamentary election candidates can be nominated by registered political parties and constituency associations established by at least 2,000 persons entitled to vote. When nominating candidates two or more political parties have the right to form an electoral alliance by mutual agreement. Correspondingly, two or more constituency associations have the right to form a joint electoral list. Each party, electoral alliance or joint electoral list can nominate a maximum of 20 candidates in each country.
Candidates may be nominated in Presidential elections by 1) a political party, from whose list of candidates at least one representative was elected in the most recent Parliamentary elections or 2) at least 20,000 persons entitled to vote, who have established a constituency association. A political party or a constituency association may nominate only one candidate. Political parties and constituency associations may nominate the same candidate.
Presidential elections are not proportional, as the votes are cast for individual candidates and not for parties.
Statistics on general elections include four different voting percentages:
1) the voting percentage of Finnish citizens resident in Finland
2) the voting percentage of Finnish citizens resident abroad
3) the total voting percentage which includes both of the above
4) a separate percentage for persons belonging to group 2 above and living in Sweden.
In European Parliamentary elections a voting percentage is calculated also for citizens of other EU Member States.
In municipal elections the right to vote is not based on Finnish citizenship, but on municipality of residence (See Entitled to vote).
In municipal elections voting percentages by nationality of foreign voters are presented in addition to the total voting percentage: EU Member State, Iceland and Norway, Other country. (See also Advance voting percentage)
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
The time lag between the data released on the candidates and the availability of data is usually around two weeks, the time lag between the background data published on voting turnout and the availability of data is usually two to four weeks, and it takes several weeks to a few months to complete the data on sex.
Considering the exceptional nature of the statistics not only in terms of the phenomenon they describe but also in terms of the time dependency of the phenomenon, such as the external factors affecting the mid-week holidays of the year in question may have an effect on the delay between the availability of data and the phenomenon.
Comparability - geographical
The statistics are comparable between different countries to such extent that at the general level the statistics describe the selection of representatives related to the country's regional democracy. The practices, structures and legislation of different countries differ considerably in this respect, which affects the comparability of the data.
Comparability - over time
In practice, several changes have taken place in the legislation in the time series (1921 to 2021) (e.g. changes related to voting rights and mergers and abolishment of municipalities), which may limit the comparability of data.
Coherence - cross domain
Source data and data collections
There are well-established practices for delivering the data to Statistics Finland between the Ministry of Justice, the Legal Register Centre and TietoEVRY, which is responsible for the technical implementation of the election information system. The details of data delivery are always agreed on in connection with each election.
The data are delivered to Statistics Finland as line transfer.
Frequency of data collection
Principles and outlines
Legal acts and other agreements
Confidentiality - policy
Confidentiality - data treatment
Accessibility and clarity
When compiling statistics, Statistics Finland observes the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP) and the Quality Assurance Framework (QAF) based on them. The Code of Practice concerns the independence and accountability of statistical authorities and the quality of processes and data to be published. The principles are in line with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics approved by the United Nations Statistics Division and are supplementary to them. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are also compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The principles are also compatible with those of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM).
More information about this is available on Statistics Finland's quality management pages.
Every year Statistics Finland conducts statistical auditing that helps to ensure the quality of statistics.
Are you looking for previously published documentation?
The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.Go to the archive page