I really don’t think this article does justice to Haavisto’s achievement.
37.4% is actually a very good result for Haavisto. Niinistö had led in every major opinion poll since 2007 by a massive margin; there was never any doubt that he was going to win the election. The Green League won only 3.3% of the first-round vote in 2000 and 3.5% in 2006; for Haaivsto to take 18.8% on the first ballot this year and nearly double that in the second round is very impressive indeed, especially seeing as his party finished sixth with just 7.3% of the vote in last year’s parliamentary elections. 37.4% is actually more than the entire left-wing vote on the first ballot combined – if we assume that all of the voters who had their preferred candidate eliminated in the first round went with the choice their first preference endorsed, then Haaivsto managed to win over at least a fifth of the Centre Party’s voters, despite that party being relatively hostile to full LGBT equality.
He probably did a lot better than a British counterpart eyeing No. 10 Downing Street.
To digress, I wonder what happened to Finland’s marriage equality bill? I was under the impression it was supposed to be voted on this year. Does anyone know? We seldom hear anything from that part of Europe.
Haavisto added some interest to what was a foregone result!
Robert: We found out just today that 76 members of Finnish parlament (out of 200) have signed an initiative concerning the bill to legalise same sex marriage. They wanted 100 names just to be sure that the bill gets passed in a voting. However, some MEPs say they would vote for the bill, but did not sign the initiative (additional 38 or so, apparently). One of the parlament’s committees will take the initiative next and decide whether there will be a voting or not.