1908 Finnish parliamentary election

← 1907 1–2 July 1908 1909 →

All 200 seats in the Parliament of Finland
101 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Edvard Valpas-Hänninen
Party SDP Finnish Young Finnish
Last election 37.03%, 80 seats 27.34%, 59 seats 13.65%, 26 seats
Seats won 83 55 26
Seat change Increase 3 Decrease 4 Steady
Popular vote 310,826 205,892 115,201
Percentage 38.40% 25.44% 14.23%
Swing Increase 1.37pp Decrease 1.90pp Increase 0.58pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Axel Lille Otto Karhi Antti Kaarne
Party RKP Agrarian SKrTL
Last election 12.60%, 24 seats 5.75%, 9 seats 1.55%, 2 seats
Seats won 24 10 2
Seat change Steady Increase 1 Steady
Popular vote 103,146 51,756 18,848
Percentage 12.74% 5.75% 2.33%
Swing Increase 0.14pp Increase 0.64pp Increase 0.78pp

Parliamentary elections were held in the Grand Duchy of Finland on 1 and 2 July 1908.


The Russian Tsar Nicholas II dissolved the first modern and democratic Finnish Parliament after its Speaker, Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, refused, in the Tsar's opinion, to show enough respect for him when speaking at the parliamentary session's opening. In 1908, the Russian government restarted its Russification policy in Finland, limiting Finnish self-government.


Most Finns, including most Finnish parliamentarians, opposed the Russification, but disagreed on the means to effectively oppose it. The Social Democratic Party's supporters hoped for positive results from their party's work in Parliament, such as the growing prosperity of workers and tenant farmers, but would be disappointed during the next several elections. The other parliamentary parties, with the partial exception of the Agrarians, considered the Social Democrats' demands, such as an eight-hour workday, too radical to be implemented while Finland was trying to save its self-government. Parliament had no official control over the government, which was responsible only to the Tsar and to the Governor-General. Parliament's legislative power was also limited by the Tsar's ability to veto its laws, without a time limit on his consideration whether to veto the laws or not.[1][2]


Social Democratic Party310,82638.4083+3
Finnish Party205,89225.4455–4
Young Finnish Party115,20114.23260
Swedish People's Party103,14612.74240
Agrarian League51,7566.3910+1
Christian Workers' Union18,8482.3320
Valid votes809,44199.03
Invalid/blank votes7,8960.97
Total votes817,337100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,269,17764.40
Source: Mackie & Rose[3]


  1. ^ Seppo Zetterberg et al., eds., A Small Giant of the Finnish History / Suomen historian pikkujattilainen, Helsinki: WSOY, 2003
  2. ^ Allan Tiitta and Seppo Zetterberg, eds., Finland Through the Ages / Suomi kautta aikojen, Helsinki: Reader's Digest Ltd., 1992
  3. ^ Thomas T. Mackie & Richard Rose (1991) The International Almanac of Electoral History, Macmillan, p243 (vote figures)