According to projections by the Finnish public broadcaster YLE, Alexander Stubb, the center-right candidate from the conservative National Coalition Party, is set to clinch the Finnish presidency with 51.4% of the votes. Meanwhile, Pekka Haavisto, an independent candidate representing the green left, is anticipated to secure 48.6% of the votes.
YLE’s forecast, known for its accuracy in past elections, relies on a mathematical model derived from early ballots and a portion of Sunday’s votes, utilizing official data provided by the Legal Register Centre. Unlike some countries, Finland typically does not employ exit polls.
If the projection holds true, Stubb, a former prime minister (2014-2015) who has also served in various Cabinet positions, would become Finland’s 13th president since the nation gained independence in 1917.
The electoral contest primarily revolved around Stubb, aged 55, and Haavisto, aged 65, as Finland’s over 4 million eligible voters cast their ballots to select a successor to the immensely popular President Sauli Niinistö. Niinistö, whose second six-year term concludes in March, was not eligible for re-election.
A runoff election on Sunday became necessary as none of the initial nine candidates secured more than half of the votes in the first round on January 28. Stubb emerged as the front-runner in that round with 27.3% of the votes, while Haavisto followed closely behind with 25.8%.