The party secretaries of eight Parliamentary parties agreed at their meeting two weeks ago that in a break with tradition, the political campaigning for Finland’s Parliamentary elections could be allowed to continue on the actual election day.
The party secretaries stressed nevertheless that the candidates should not disturb voters at polling stations or nearby. The views were expressed at a joint canvassing event in downtown Helsinki on Tuesday.
The political parties have differing plans for campaigning on the election day itself. Some candidates will distribute brochures, and some will take unnumbered posters to the neighbourhood of polling stations, while the Centre Party and the Social Democrats intend to serve coffee.
However, the ongoing campaign will no longer have any relevance for the nearly 1.2 million Finns who voted in advance. The number was up sharply from 2003 and represented 29.2% of the eligible voting population. Pundits urged caution in drawing the conclusion that turnout on Sunday would be commensurably up from the last election. It may simply be that more and more people want to get the job done when it suits them and have lost the "sense of occasion" of going to vote on election day.
The advance voting for Finland’s Parliamentary elections ended on Tuesday evening, while the actual election day is Sunday March 18th.