National Coalition Party

For the party of the same name in El Salvador, see National Coalition Party (El Salvador).
National Coalition Party
Finnish: Kansallinen Kokoomus
Swedish: Samlingspartiet
President Petteri Orpo
Vice-presidents Antti Häkkänen
Sanni Grahn-Laasonen
Janne Sankelo
Founded 1918 (1918)
Merger of Finnish Party, Young Finnish Party
Headquarters Kansakoulukuja 3 A
Youth wing Coalition Party Youth League
Membership  (2011) 41,000[1]
Ideology Liberalism[2]
Liberal conservatism[3]
Political position Centre-right[4]
European affiliation European People's Party
International affiliation International Democrat Union
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours      Blue
37 / 200
European Parliament
3 / 13
1,735 / 9,674

The National Coalition Party (Finnish: Kansallinen Kokoomus, Kok.; Swedish: Samlingspartiet, Saml.) is a liberal[2] and conservative[5] political party in Finland.

Founded in 1918, the National Coalition Party is one of the four largest parties in Finland, along with the Social Democratic Party, the Finns Party and the Centre Party. The party bases its politics on "individual freedom and responsibility, equality, Western democracy and economic system, humane principles and caring."[6] The party is strongly pro-European and is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).

Its vote share has been around 20% in parliamentary elections in the 1990s and 2000s. It won 44 out of 200 seats in the parliamentary elections of 2011, becoming the largest party in the Finnish parliament for the first time in its history. On the municipal level, it became the most popular party in 2008 and has retained that position. In the 2015 election the NCP lost its status as the country's largest party, as they finished second in votes and third in seats. Regardless, the party again joined the government coalition.

Its voters are predominantly urban, while in rural regions its performance is relatively weak.[7] The current leader is Petteri Orpo, elected on 11 June 2016.[8]

Program and supporters

According to its platform the National Coalition Party wants to build "a society where a person’s own choices, hopes, and needs set the direction for national development."[9] The party defends "individual freedom, and promotes people’s opportunities to make choices, but without ignoring everyone’s responsibility for their own life, others, and the environment. Our ideology combines freedom with responsibility, democracy, and equality".[9] The party's basic values are education, tolerance, rewarding and caring.[9] Individuals' freedom to think and act independently and minorities' rights are core matters to the party.[10] According to the history section of the official website the platform has been shaped by ideas of conservatism, liberalism and social reform, which have all contributed to the current ideology.[11] Alexander Stubb has described the party's policies as "unambiguously liberal".[12] In 2010 the party congress voted in favour of supporting same-sex marriage.[13]

In international affairs, the party and its voter base strongly believe in the benefits of the European Union and European integration. The party wants to build an "economically and politically stronger European Union, we envisage an EU that is a more effective and a more prominent actor in world politics".[9] The party advocates a membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).[14]

The party is one of the most supportive parties regarding work-based immigration.[15][16]

The party has long supported initiatives of allowing shops and restaurants to serve customers on Sundays.[17][18]

Polls show that as of 2008, the National Coalition Party is the party that has been viewed most positively by Finns[19] and its membership has been on the rise.[20] Out of the major parties, the National Coalition Party has the highest proportion of women (2005 statistics)[21] and is the most favored party among young generations.[22][23] The party has the strongest support in the cities of Southern Finland and is popular among entrepreneurs, although does not associate with any particular social group.


NCP Chairman Petteri Orpo

People can join various member organizations in the party. The main organization consists of municipal chapters, organized into districts. As with other major parties, each chapter sends a representative to an annual party congress. A party council, consisting of 1–9 representatives from each district, selects the party management. The party management, which is the active daily management of the party, has a representative from each district as well as representatives from three member organizations (youth, women's, and student wings), three vice presidents and the party president (currently Alexander Stubb). The party has a main office, headed by the party secretary. There is a parliamentary group with a separate president, and the group has an office with staff; a European Parliament group (a subsection of the European People's Party group); and the group of ministers.

In addition to the party's youth member organization (Kokoomuksen Nuorten Liitto), the party also has a student member organization, the Student Union of National Coalition (Finnish: Kokoomusopiskelijat Tuhatkunta, Swedish: Samlingspartiets Studerandeförbund Tuhatkunta), which is the largest political student organisation in Finland.[24][25]

The party's Women's League (Kokoomuksen Naisten Liitto/Samlingspartiets Kvinnoförbund, or shortly Kokoomusnaiset) brings women together and focuses on improving gender equality in Finland and around the world. It believes that "women and men must have the same opportunities and rights to come to life, grow up, receive education, participate, work and care".[26] The Swedish-language activities are organised by the Centre-right Coalition in Finland (Borgerlig samling i Finland, BiF). The National Rainbow Group (Kansallinen sateenkaariryhmä) is a member organization that brings together people interested in LGBT politics.

The National Immigrants (Finnish: Kansalliset Maahanmuuttajat, Kamut) seeks to bring together immigrants who are interested in politics.[27]


The party was founded 9 December 1918, after the Finnish Civil War, by the majority of the Finnish Party and the minority of the Young Finnish Party supporting monarchy.[28] (The previous day the republicans of both parties had founded the National Progressive Party.[29]) The founding meeting declared, "A national coalition is needed over old party lines that have lost meaning and have too long separated similarly thinking citizens. This coalition's grand task must be to work to strengthen in our nation the forces that maintain society. Lawful societal order must be strictly upheld and there must be no compromise with revolutionary aspirations. But simultaneously determined constructive reform work must be pursued."[30] The party sought to accomplish this by advocating constitutional monarchy and, failing that, strong governmental powers within a republican framework; and by implementing a number of social and economic reforms, such as compulsory education, universal health care, and progressive income and property taxation.[31]

In the late 1920s and early 1930s the threat posed by the Joseph Stalin's communist Soviet Union influenced Finnish politics. Communists, backed by Soviet leaders, accelerated their activities. The ideological position was strongly conservative, and this was poorly received particularly by the youth, who were attracted to irredentist and outright fascist movements instead, such as the Academic Karelia Society or Patriotic People's Movement.[32] Although Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, the party's first President, played a key role in halting the Lapua Movement, in the 1933 parliamentary election the party formed an electoral coalition with Patriotic People's Movement, founded by former Lapua Movement supporters. The result was a major defeat. The party lost 24 of its previous 42 seats in the parliament. It made a break with the Patriotic People's Movement in 1934 under the newly elected chairman J.K. Paasikivi. Nevertheless, it was shut out of government until the outbreak of the Winter War and only slowly gained back support.[33] During both the Winter War and the Continuation War, the party took part in unity governments and generally strongly supported government policies. After the war the National Coalition Party sought to portray itself as defender of democracy against the resurgent Finnish communists. Paasikivi, who had advocated making more concessions to Soviet Union before the Winter War and taken a cautious line with regard to cooperation with Germany before the Continuation War, acted first as Prime Minister (1944–1946) and then as President (1946–1956). The conflict between the party and the communist Finnish People's Democratic League culminated when President Paasikivi fired the Communist Minister of the Interior Yrjö Leino, who had used the security police to spy on the party's youth organization among other abuses.[34][35]

In 1951 the party changed its name from the original Kansallinen Kokoomuspuolue to the current Kansallinen Kokoomus. The 1950s were also a time of ideological reform, as emphasis on individual liberty and free market reforms increased at the expense of social conservatism and maintaining a strong government. A minor division in 1958 led to the formation of the Christian Democrats.

From 1966 to 1987 the party was shut out of government. By criticizing President Urho Kekkonen and Finnish communists, the party had lost the President's trust and governments based on the Centre Party and left-wing parties followed one another. A new guard emerged within the party in the 1970s that sought to improve relations with President Kekkonen. Their work was partially successful in the late 1970s.[36] However, even though the party supported Kekkonen for president in 1978 and became the second biggest party in the country in the 1979 parliamentary election, a place in the government continued to elude it until the end of Kekkonen's time in office.

During the long years in opposition the party's support had grown steadily and in 1987 it attained the best parliamentary election result in its history. Harri Holkeri became the party's first Prime Minister since Paasikivi. During Holkeri's time in office, the Finnish economy suffered a downturn, precipitated by a coincidence of factors, and the 1991 parliamentary election resulted in a loss. The party continued in the government as a junior partner until the 2003 parliamentary election, after which it spent four years in the opposition.

In 1990, the Youth Union of National Coalition was the first significant political organization in Finland to publicly advocate membership in the European Union.[37]

Jyrki Katainen was elected the party chairman in 2004. In March 2006, Katainen was elected Vice-President of the European People's Party (EPP). Under the leadership of Katainen, chairman from 2004 to 2014, liberalism has become the main attribute of the party.[38] It is now moderately liberal and reformist,[39] and supports, among other things, multiculturalism[10] and same sex marriage.[40]

Recent elections

Support for the National Coalition Party by municipality in the 2011 parliamentary election. The party has traditionally fared well in large urban areas, such as those in the Helsinki, Tampere and Turku regions. The party's strongest municipality was the city of Espoo, where the NCP received 40 per cent of the vote.

The National Coalition Party had been in the opposition since the 2003 parliamentary election, in which it suffered a defeat, getting only 18.6% of the votes and losing six seats to bring its total down to 40. (It later gained two seats through defections.) In the 2007 parliamentary election the party increased its share to 50 seats in what was the biggest gain of the election. The party held a close second place in the Parliament after the Centre Party, which had 51 seats. The Social Democratic Party were third with 45 seats. After the election the party entered into a coalition government together with the Centre Party, the Green League, and the Swedish People's Party. The NCP got important portfolios, including those of Finance and Foreign Affairs.

In the 2011 parliamentary election the party finished first place for the first time in history with 44 seats, despite losing six seats. After lengthy negotiations party chairman Jyrki Katainen became Prime Minister in a six-party coalition government, which includes parties from left to right.

The National Coalition Party's candidate in the 2006 Finnish presidential election was former Minister of Finance and ex-party chairman Sauli Niinistö. He qualified for the second round runoff as one of the top two candidates in the first round, but was defeated by the incumbent Tarja Halonen with 51.8% of the vote against his 48.2%. The party again nominated Sauli Niinistö for the presidential election of 2012. Niinistö won the election, beating his Green opponent decisively on the second round with an overwhelming 62.6% portion of the votes, and thus becoming the third president elected from the party. Niinistö's margin of victory was larger than that of any previous directly elected president. He won a majority in 14 of the country's 15 electoral districts.[41] Niinistö has emphasized nonpartisanism. When he became President, he gave an emotional speech in which he thanked not only those who backed him in the campaign, but also those who disagreed with him. Niinistö said that the differing views expressed should be taken into consideration in the work of the president.[42]

In June 2014 Katainen stepped down as party chairman and Prime Minister of Finland for a new position in the European Union.[43] Katainen was replaced by Alexander Stubb as chairman of the National Coalition Party and thus chosen to be the next Prime Minister. Katainen's cabinet was succeeded by the cabinet of Alexander Stubb on 23 June 2014. Stubb was replaced by Petteri Orpo on 11 June 2016.

Election results


Date Votes Seats Position Size
# % ± pp # ±
1919 155,018 15.70% + 15.70
28 / 200
Increase 28 Opposition 3rd
1922 157,116 18.15% + 2.45
35 / 200
Increase 7 Opposition 3rd
1924 166,880 18.99% + 0.84
38 / 200
Increase 2 Government 3rd
1927 161,450 17.74% - 1.25
34 / 200
Decrease 4 Opposition 3rd
1929 138,008 14.51% - 3.23
28 / 200
Decrease 6 Opposition 3rd
1930 203,958 18.05% + 3.54
42 / 200
Increase 14 Government 3rd
1933 187,527 16.93% - 1.12
32 / 200
Decrease 10 Opposition 3rd
1936 121,619 10.36% - 6.57
20 / 200
Decrease 12 Opposition 4th
1939 176,215 13.58% + 3.22
25 / 200
Increase 5 Opposition 3rd
1945 255,394 15.04% + 1.46
28 / 200
Increase 3 Government 4th
1948 320,366 17.04% + 2.0
33 / 200
Increase 5 Opposition 4th
1951 264,044 14.57% - 2.47
28 / 200
Decrease 5 Opposition 4th
1954 257,025 12.80% - 1.77
24 / 200
Decrease 4 Opposition 4th
1958 297,094 15.28% + 2.48
29 / 200
Increase 5 Government 4th
1962 346,638 15.06% - 0.22
32 / 200
Increase 3 Government 4th
1966 326,928 13.79% - 1.27
26 / 200
Decrease 6 Opposition 4th
1970 457,582 18.05% + 4.26
37 / 200
Increase 11 Opposition 2nd
1972 453,434 17.59% - 0,46
34 / 200
Decrease 3 Opposition 3rd
1975 505,145 18.37% + 0.78
35 / 200
Increase 1 Opposition 3rd
1979 626,764 21.65% + 3.28
47 / 200
Increase 12 Opposition 2nd
1983 659,078 22.12% + 0,47
44 / 200
Decrease 3 Opposition 2nd
1987 666,236 23.13% + 1,01
53 / 200
Increase 9 Government 2nd
1991 526,487 19.31% - 3.82
40 / 200
Decrease 13 Government 3rd
1995 497,624 17.89% - 1.42
39 / 200
Decrease 1 Government 3rd
1999 563,835 21.03% - 3.14
46 / 200
Increase 7 Government 3rd
2003 517,904 18.55% + 2.48
40 / 200
Decrease 6 Opposition 3rd
2007 616,841 22.26% + 3.71
50 / 200
Increase 10 Government 2nd
2011 598,369 20.44% - 1.82
44 / 200
Decrease 6 Government 1st
2015 540,212 18.20% - 2.24
37 / 200
Decrease 7 Government 3rd

European parliament

Year MEPs Votes
1996 4 453 729 20,17%
1999 4 313 960 25,27%
2004 4 392 771 23,71%
2009 3 386 416 23,21%
2014 3 390 112 22,6%


Year Councillors Votes
1950 88 159 5,85%
1953 133 626 7,59%
1956 105 220 6,29%
1960 275 560 14,04%
1964 213 378 10,0%
1968 1 388 364 428 16,09%
1972 1 503 451 484 18,06%
1976 2 047 561 121 20,92%
1980 2 373 628 950 22,94%
1984 2 423 619 264 22,96%
1988 2 392 601 468 22,87%
1992 2 009 507 574 19,05%
1996 2 167 514 313 21,64%
2000 2 028 463 493 20,84%
2004 2 078 521 412 21,83%
2008 2 020 597 727 23,45%
2012 1 735 544 682 21,9%


Year Candidate Electors Votes
1925 Hugo Suolahti 68 141 240 22,71%
1931 Pehr Evind Svinhufvud 64 180 378 21,56%
1937 Pehr Evind Svinhufvud 86 330 980 29,75%
1950 Juho Kusti Paasikivi 68 360 789 22,88%
1956 Sakari Tuomioja 54 340 311 17,94%
1968 Matti Virkkunen 58 432 014 21,19%
1978 Urho Kekkonen 45 360 310 14,72%
1982 Harri Holkeri 58 593 271 18,7%
1988 Harri Holkeri 63 603 180 20,2%
Year Candidate Votes
1988 Harri Holkeri 570 340 18,4%
1994 Raimo Ilaskivi 1k    485 035 1k 15,2 %
2000 Riitta Uosukainen 1k 392 305 1k 12,8 %
2006 Sauli Niinistö 1k 725 866
2k 1 518 333
1k 24,06 %
2k 48,21 %
2012 Sauli Niinistö 1k 1 131 254
2k 1 802 400
1k 37 %
2k 62,6 %

List of party Chairmen

Prominent party leaders


  1. Niemelä, Mikko (13 March 2011). "Perussuomlaisilla hurja tahti: "Jäseniä tulee ovista ja ikkunoista"". Kauppalehti. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  2. 1 2 Laurson, Finn (2010), Maurizio Carbone, ed., "The Nordic countries: Between scepticism and adaption", National Politics and European Integration: From the Constitution to the Lisbon Treaty, Edward Elgar, p. 188, ISBN 978-1-84980-514-8
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  4. Lane, Jan-Erik; Ersson, Svante (2008). Josep M. Colomer, ed. The Nordic Countries: Compromise and Corporatism in the Welfare State. Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2.
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  7. Terry, Chris (3 March 2014), National Coalition Party (KOK), The Democratic Society
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  13. Kasperi Summanen. "Verkkouutiset". Verkkouutiset. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  14. "Kokoomus päätti Nato-linjastaan: Puolustusliittoon lähivuosina". Verkkouutiset. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2016.
  15. "No nordic model: Understanding differences in the labour migration policy preferences of mainstream Finnish and Swedish political parties". Comparative European Politics. November 2014.
  16. "Centre Party split over immigration". March 7, 2015.
  17. TNS: Kauppojen aukiolotutkimus 9/2008
  18. Suomen Kuvalehti: Kauppojen aukiolo: Monen kansanedustajan mieli muuttui (November 18, 2009)
  19. Tutkimus: Kokoomus saa puolueista eniten myönteisyyttä. Uusi Suomi. 18.9.2008
  20. "Kokoomus, vihreät ja perussuomalaiset kasvattavat jäsenmääriään - - Politiikka". 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  21. HS: Suurissa puolueissa miesenemmistö Turun Sanomat 18.9.2005
  22. Kokoomus ja vihreät kirivät nuorten suosioon Archived February 29, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. "Ylen mittauksen mukaan Sdp:tä äänestäisi kolme prosenttia nuorista". Verkkouutiset. December 31, 2014.
  24. "Student Union of National Coalition Party (Tuhatkunta)". Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  25. "Kokoomusopiskelijat - Tuhatkunta" (PDF). Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  26. "Tervetuloa Kokoomuksen Naisten Liittoon!". 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  27. "Järjestörekisteri". Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  28. Kansallinen Kokoomuspuolue perustetaan.
  29. "''Suomalainen puoluehistoria''". Retrieved 2011-04-18.
  30. Kansallisen Kokoomuspuolueen perustava kokous (1918): Kansalaisille.
  31. Kansallisen Kokoomuspuolueen ohjelma. February 2, 1919.
  32. Mickelsson, Rauli. Suomen puolueet—Historia, muutos ja nykypäivä. Vastapaino 2007.
  33. Ilkka Ahtokivi (1996): Kokoomus itsenäisessä Suomessa 1918–44.
  34. Ilkka Ahtokivi (1996): Kokoomus Valpon silmätikkuna. Nykypäivä. May 17, 1996.
  35. Kokoomus piikkinä lihassa. Kokoomus
  36. Tomi Tuomisalo (2006): Kokoomus, Kekkonen ja NKP:n luottamus. Kansallisen Kokoomuksen toiminta hallitusaseman saavuttamiseksi 1969–1981. Helsingin Yliopisto.
  37. Vares, Vesa: Kaksi askelta edellä, page 298.
  38. "Finnish PM to step down, seek new EU post", The Japan Times, 6 April 2014
  39. "Finland's largest political parties", European Parliament in Plain Language,
  40. Kokoomus: ”Avioliitto sukupuolineutraaliksi” Uusi Suomi 13 June 2010, accessed 10 July 2014
  41. "Sauli Niinistö is Finland's 12th president". 5 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  42. "Niinistö pledges to fight youth alienation". 5 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  43. Kasper Viita (13 June 2014). "Finland Prepares for Prime Minister Switch as Katainen Quits". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
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