1939 Finnish parliamentary election

← 1936 1–2 July 1939 1945 →

All 200 seats in the Parliament of Finland
101 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Kaarlo Harvala Pekka Heikkinen Pekka Pennanen
Party Social Democratic Agrarian National Coalition
Last election 83 seats, 38.59% 53 seats, 22.41% 20 seats, 10.36%
Seats won 85 56 25
Seat change Increase 2 Increase 3 Increase 5
Popular vote 515,980 296,529 176,215
Percentage 39.77% 22.86% 13.58%
Swing Increase 1.18pp Increase 0.45pp Increase 3.22pp

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Sisäministeri Ernst von Born 30.3.1940 (cropped).jpg
Vilho Annala.jpg
Leader Ernst von Born Vilho Annala Aimo Cajander
Party Swedish People's IKL National Progressive
Last election 21 seats, 11.20% 14 seats, 8.34% 7 seats, 6.28%
Seats won 18 8 6
Seat change Decrease 3 Decrease 6 Decrease 1
Popular vote 124,720 86,219 62,387
Percentage 9.61% 6.68% 4.81%
Swing Decrease 1.59pp Decrease 1.66pp Decrease 1.47pp

  Seventh party
Party Party of Smallholders and Rural People
Last election 2 seats, 2.60%
Seats won 2
Seat change Steady 0
Popular vote 27,783
Percentage 2.14%
Swing Decrease 0.46pp

Prime Minister before election

Aimo Cajander
National Progressive

Prime Minister after election

Aimo Cajander
National Progressive

Parliamentary elections were held in Finland on 1 and 2 July 1939.[1] Following the elections, the National Progressive Party-led government of Aimo Cajander continued in office. However, he was replaced by Risto Ryti's Progressive-led war government in December 1939.


The leading issues were the distribution of the growing prosperity's benefits, the prospects for the centre-left coalition government's continuation, the right-wing opposition's criticism of the government's numerous and allegedly poorly prepared legislative proposals, and the Finnish national security under the threat of World War II. Prime Minister Cajander opposed the notable increase of defence spending before the elections, because that would require raising taxes. Finance Minister Väinö Tanner and Governor of the Bank of Finland, Risto Ryti, opposed the taking of a foreign loan to buy modern military equipment for the Finnish army, although the Finnish national debt in 1939 was among the lowest in the Western world. Most Finnish voters were apparently satisfied with the centre-left Cajander government's performance, because it received almost three-quarters of the seats. The voter turnout was the highest of the Finnish parliamentary elections of the 1920s and 1930s.[2][3][4]


1939 Eduskunta.svg
Social Democratic Party515,98039.7785+2
Agrarian League296,52922.8656+3
National Coalition Party176,21513.5825+5
Swedish People's Party124,7209.6118–3
Patriotic People's Movement86,2196.658–6
National Progressive Party62,3874.816–1
Party of Smallholders and Rural People27,7832.1420
Swedish Left5,9800.4600
Valid votes1,297,31999.61
Invalid/blank votes5,0290.39
Total votes1,302,348100.00
Registered voters/turnout1,956,80766.55
Source: Tilastokeskus 2004[5]


  1. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p606 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Seppo Zetterberg et al., eds., A Small Giant of the Finnish History / Suomen historian pikkujättiläinen, Helsinki: WSOY, 2003
  3. ^ Sakari Virkkunen, Finland's Presidents I / Suomen presidentit I, Helsinki: WSOY, 1994
  4. ^ Martti Turtola, Risto Ryti: A Life for the Fatherland / Elämä isänmaan puolesta, Helsinki: Otava, 1994
  5. ^ Tiedosto "595. Eduskuntavaalit 1927–2003 (Tilastokeskus 2004)