There is a danger behind Lee Anderson’s election rush – the successor will find himself in a difficult spot

Li Andersen, the overwhelming vote queen of the European elections, collected almost 80 percent of all votes for the Left Alliance, leading the party to a historic electoral victory. A political scientist interprets popularity and evaluates what happens next.

With the leader leaving the Left coalition With Lee Anderson There is cause for celebration. Yesterday, Anderson led his party to a historic election result that could not have been predicted.

The Left Alliance unexpectedly came second in European elections with 17.3 percent support, largely thanks to the personal support of its leader. Nearly 80 percent of the party’s votes went to Anderson, whose votes were counted on election night, by comparison, the party’s third passer. Jussi SaramoIt won the seat in Brussels by less than 4,900 votes.

Andersen’s individual votes were the largest ever collected in a national election in Finland’s history, excluding presidential elections. The old European electoral record of 157,668 votes from 1996 was held by the Centre’s former honorary president. Pao Vairinen.

Definition of Popularity

asked Iltalehti, a political analyst at the University of Helsinki Johanna WuerelmaWhat does he think of Lee Anderson’s popularity and its importance to left-wing unionism?

– First of all, Lee Anderson has been a very popular politician for years. This is seen in support polls that measure the support of party leaders. He has often drawn support across party lines, and that has been reflected in his personal election results, says Wuerelma.

Political analyst Johanna Wuerelma believes there are many reasons for Lee Anderson’s popularity. Kimmo Habala

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Vuorelma sees the all-Finland constituency as another significant factor in the exceptional success in the European elections. Therefore internal electoral district boundaries do not restrict the freedom of choice of voters.

– This is beneficial for this type of politician, especially one who has broad support in various parts of Finland and across party lines. This can be seen in comparison with his parliamentary electoral support, which was limited to Finland’s system.

Andersen received 18,007 votes in the 2023 spring parliamentary election from the Vercinais-Suomen constituency. 6.5 percent of the total votes polled in the constituency. Andersen collected about 13.5 percent of the vote across Finland in the European elections.

– Thirdly, this constituency arrangement can also be seen in the parliamentary elections. If you look at the red-green caucus consisting of the Left Alliance, the Democrats and the Greens, one of them gets the role of leader of that team. It was in the parliamentary elections Hello Marine Led by the Democrats, Wuerelma estimates that the most unexpected left-wing coalition led by Lee Anderson in this election.

– Within the constituency, there is a very low threshold for voting for another party. You can see such sudden changes there, in fact, that even the support studies are unpredictable at this point, Vuorelma continues.

A charismatic leader

According to Wuerelma, Anderson’s election result was partially explained by the personality of the politician. In his opinion, it is even more extreme to talk about a cult of personality.

– An individual politician can get the most important support for his own party precisely with his own support and his own person, so we would not have seen such an election result if it were not for such a widely supported party leader.

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Wuerelma points out that Anderson was the elected leader of the RKB Anna-Maja Henriksens Additionally, he is the only leader of a parliamentary party to be a candidate in European elections. This provided the candidacy with a lot of media coverage. At the beginning of the year, Anderson received a lot of media coverage as his party’s presidential candidate.

– Party leaders are included in the Euro election committee. He gained a lot of visibility as a party leader and as a candidate for the European elections. Sofia Virtra (Green) and With Andy Lindman (SD) Very difficult position. They were there to represent the party, but not run for office themselves.

Lee Anderson, leader of the Left Alliance, the party’s election supervisors. I nodded

According to Voorelma, the personification of politics in charismatic leaders is already an old phenomenon, which today is reinforced by the media mediation of politics and the Finnish electoral system, which is, for example, more person-based than Sweden’s list election system.

– When following politics through the media, there are certain prominent figures such as party leaders. It was evident in Marin’s case. After all, he has a very strong presence on social media, and with the help of Instagram, for example, he made a very personal campaign.

What next?

According to Voorelma, the next leader of the left-wing coalition faces a difficult task precisely because of the internal mobilization of the voters of the green-left parties. For example, he reminds us that next spring’s municipal elections are very different in nature from European elections.

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– Now it matters who is elected to lead the party. It could also happen that he didn’t succeed in talking to the Finns in the same way, so the boost that Lee Andersen brought won’t show up in the next election, says Wuerlema.

According to Wuerelma, it’s still difficult to assess Anderson’s political future at this point.

– Perhaps trying to influence within its own group in Europe. After all, there are these own issues, even this pro-Putin faction, which he himself has said he is trying to influence.

– I could imagine that he was still interested in Finland’s domestic politics after the Meppi era. I see him having many positions in Finnish politics, says Voorelma.

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