Finland’s ruling Centre Party won a narrow victory on 18 March 2007, but the conservative National Coalition Party made strong gains to come a close second and set a course for a place in a new coalition cabinet.
The National Coalition won 50 seats in the 200-member parliament — one fewer than the Centre Party and ahead of the 45 seats of the Social Democrats, the current partners in the cabinet, official figures showed, with more than 99% of votes counted.
But Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen told cheering supporters his Centre Party had hung on to its leading position.
“The result is clear. We are number 1 in votes and number 1 in seats,” he told supporters at a central Helsinki hotel.