1962 Finnish presidential election

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Nominee Urho Kekkonen Paavo Aitio
Party Centre People's Democratic
Electoral vote 199 62
Popular vote 1,394,886 451,750

President before election

Urho Kekkonen

Elected President

Urho Kekkonen

Two-stage presidential elections were held in Finland in 1962. On 15 and 16 January the public elected presidential electors to an electoral college.[1] They in turn elected the President. The result was a victory for Urho Kekkonen, who won on the first ballot.[2] The turnout for the popular vote was 81.5%.[3]


Since Kekkonen's extremely narrow victory in the 1956 Finnish presidential elections, his political opponents had planned to defeat him in the election of 1962.

In the spring of 1961, the Social Democrats, National Coalition Party and Swedish People's Party and People's Party , Small Farmers' Party and Liberal League nominated former Chancellor of Justice Olavi Honka as their presidential candidate.

The Honka League's goal was to receive a majority of the 300 presidential electors, and thus defeat President Kekkonen.

At the end of October 1961, the Soviet government sent a diplomatic note to the Finnish Government, claiming that neo-fascism and militarism were growing so much in West Germany that Finland and the Soviet Union were in danger of being attacked by that country or by some other NATO members states.

Thus the Soviet Union asked Finland to negotiate on possible joint military co-operation under the Finno-Soviet Treaty articles.

The Note Crisis alarmed many Finnish people, politicians and ordinary voters alike. In late November 1961, Honka dropped his presidential candidacy. Kekkonen then travelled to the Soviet Union where the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, briefly negotiated with him and assured the audience in Novosibirsk that Finland and the Soviet Union continued to have good relations, although some Finns tried to worsen them, and that joint military exercises were not needed, after all.

Following the Note Crisis, Kekkonen's popularity soared, as many Finnish voters believed him to be more capable than his opponents of defending Finland's neutrality and security. Kekkonen was easily re-elected President [4][5][6]


Popular vote

Alliance or party Votes % Seats
Electoral Union of Urho Kekkonen Agrarian League 698,199 31.7 111
People's Party of Finland 165,489 7.5 21
Swedish People's Party 35,599 1.6 6
Others 75,961 3.4 7
Electoral Union of KOK and KP National Coalition Party 288,912 13.1 37
People's Party of Finland 11,087 0.5 1
Liberal League 7,898 0.4 1
Finnish People's Democratic League 451,750 20.5 63
Social Democratic Party 289,366 13.1 36
Swedish People's Party 111,741 5.1 15
Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders 66,166 3.0 2
Others 36 0.0 0
Invalid/blank votes 9,237
Total 2,211,441 100 300
Source: Nohln & Stöver

Electoral college

Candidate Party Votes %
Urho Kekkonen Agrarian League 199 66.3
Paavo Aitio Finnish People's Democratic League 62 20.7
Rafael Paasio Social Democratic Party 37 12.3
Emil Skog Social Democratic Union of Workers and Smallholders 2 0.7
Total 300 100
Source: Nohlen & Stöver


  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen & Philip Stöver (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p606 ISBN 978-3-8329-5609-7
  2. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p630
  3. ^ Nohlen & Stöver, p624
  4. ^ Vihavainen, Timo (1987). Hyvinvointi-Suomi, osio teoksesta Suomen historian Pikkujättiläinen (in Finnish). Porvoo: WSOY. pp. 840–842.
  5. ^ Virrankoski, Pentti. Suomen historia (in Finnish). Porvoo: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. pp. 957–959.
  6. ^ Hannu Rautkallio (1992). Novosibirskin lavastus (in Finnish). Helsinki: Tammi.