On my way back to Brussels. I feel a bit tired. The final days of campaign and yesterday’s election party have taken their toll.
Tarja Halonen renewed her mandate with the narrowest of margins. She got 51,8 percent of the vote, against Sauli Niinistö’s 48,2 percent. The difference was a mere 112 886 votes. So near, but alas yet so far.
I spent the final days campaigning around Finland. On Thursday I was in Mäntsälä, some 45 minutes north of Helsinki. On Friday I flew to Vaasa (northwest). On Saturday I worked my way around the Helsinki area.
Last night we had an election party in Helsinki. The atmosphere was good, despite the tight loss.
In many ways the whole campaign was a victory for our party and centre-right forces in general. It was the first time in fifty years that we had a real chance to snatch the Presidency.
A few months ago no-one believed we had a chance. Yesterday Sauli almost made it.
The Presidential elections give our party an excellent boost for parliamentary elections, which will be held in March next year.