Finnish parliamentary election, 1917
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Parliamentary elections were held in the Grand Duchy of Finland on 1 and 2 October 1917. The general voter turnout was higher than in previous elections. The Social Democrats lost the absolute majority that they had had in the previous two elections (although they, like the other parties, had increased their number of votes in absolute terms). In other words, the "bourgeois" (non-socialist) parties taken together now had more than half the seats.
The elections were the result of the constitutional crisis in Finland caused by the Russian revolution. As Russian Tsar Nicholas, head of state in Finland, had abdicated without a successor, the Finnish Parliament stated that it would become the highest power in internal matters. The Russian Provisional Government did not accept this, but ordered premature parliamentary elections, which was thought illegal by the Socialists.
The Social Democrats demanded the quick implementation of eight-hour work day and the quick freeing of tenant farmers. The bourgeois parties, on average, wanted first to ensure that Finland would become fully independent, and only then to implement such social and economic reforms.
|Social Democratic Party of Finland||444,670||44.79||92||–11|
|Finnish Party–Young Finnish Party–People's Party[a]||299,516||30.17||61||+5|
|Swedish People's Party||108,190||10.90||21||0|
|Christian Workers' Union||15,489||1.56||0||–1|
|Total votes cast||997,665||100|
|Source: Mackie & Rose|
a The Finnish Party won 32 seats, the Young Finnish Party 24 and the People's Party five.