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Government vs opposition voting in the Finnish parliament Eduskunta since World War II


  • Antti Pajala

    (University of Turku)


In a parliamentary system it is by definition justified to assume the government parties voting almost always in a unitary manner in plenary votes. In a multiparty system it is, however, hard to predict how the opposition groups vote. Few studies analysing government-opposition voting in the Finnish parliament Eduskunta were published during the 1960s and 1970s. This study provides similar analyses regarding the parliamentary years of 1991-2012. Combined the studies provide an insight into the government-opposition relations since World War II. The results show that before the 1990s the government-opposition division in plenary votes appeared rather clear and the political party groups’ positions followed the traditional left-right dimension. Since the 1990s, the government-opposition division has become greater. The governing coalition acts almost as a bloc while the opposition groups are divided into moderate and hard opposition. The opposition groups, however, appear in a more or less random order. Consequently, since the 1990s the left-right dimension has disappeared with respect to plenary voting.

Suggested Citation

  • Antti Pajala, 2013. "Government vs opposition voting in the Finnish parliament Eduskunta since World War II," European Journal of Government and Economics, Europa Grande, vol. 2(1), pages 41-58, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:egr:ejge00:v:2:i:1:p:41-58

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    voting; parliament; opposition; Finland;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior


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