Methodological description of the election analysis (tables) – Background information on parties' success in the Parliamentary elections 2007

The analysis gives background information on the reasons behind a party's success or loss in the Parliamentary elections 2007. Parties' election results are examined separately in each constituency (excl. Åland) and the whole country. The analysis offers information on e.g. how a certain party has done in areas with high unemployment when compared with the Parliamentary elections 2003.

Data content

Voting districts have been grouped separately along each background variable into three numerically equally large classes. The election result for each class is compared by constituency with the results of the Parliamentary elections 2003. The classification of voting districts into three groups is based on data on persons entitled to vote derived from the Ministry of Justice's voting register and Statistics Finland's employment statistics data.

The background variables for the classification of voting districts include employment, business structure, the proportion of pensioners, support for the four large parties (the Social Democratic Party, Centre Party, National Coalition Party, Left Alliance), degree of urbanisation, the proportion of children aged under 7 of the population and income level.

The analysis is performed for the whole country and separately for each constituency, the Region of Åland excluded.

Interpreting the results

The results illustrate the candidates' success in the elections compared with the Parliamentary elections 2003.
Positive numbers or bars in a bar chart show that, compared to the previous elections, a party won the percentage point share indicated by the figure e.g. the in the agricultural voting districts of the constituency under examination. Correspondingly, negative numbers show that a party lost.
Is should be noted that the election result cannot be calculated from the tables.

Basic data

The analysis is based on an examination by voting district. The voting districts, whose borders have not changed or have changed only a little since the previous elections, were chosen as the basic data set. However, small voting districts with less than 1,000 persons entitled to vote are combined so that the average size of a voting district is about 2,000 persons entitled to vote. The analysis is therefore based on approximately 1,600 voting districts which are comparable with the Parliamentary elections 2003. For each variable the voting districts in a constituency have been divided into three groups on the basis of the characteristics of their population entitled to vote.

Background variables

1. Employment

  • High unemployment
  • Average unemployment
  • Low unemployment

Unemployment is calculated as the share of the unemployed job-seekers of the labour force. The data is derived from the Ministry of Labour's structural data. The voting districts in a constituency are divided into three roughly equally large groups.

2. Business structure

  • Service areas
  • Agricultural areas
  • Industrial areas

The data is divided into three groups on the basis of the number of employees in these business sectors. When interpreting the table it should be noted that agriculture is very rarely the principal industry. Services are predominant everywhere. That third of all voting districts is assigned to the agricultural areas group, where the share of agricultural workers of all employed persons is the highest. That half of the remaining 2/3 is assigned to the industrial areas group, where the highest number or persons is employed in manufacturing industries. The remaining one-third are service areas.

NB The constituency of Helsinki (01) has no agricultural areas.

3. Proportion of pensioners of persons entitled to vote

  • Large
  • Average
  • Small

The voting districts in a constituency are divided into three roughly equally large groups on the basis of the percentages of pensioners. Pensioners are defined according to the definition used by Statistics Finland. Persons receiving an old-age or disability pension are counted as pensioners.

4. Support for the four large parties (Social Democratic Party, Centre Party, National Coalition Party, Left Alliance)

Four separate analyses; the best third is that third of voting districts, where the party got the highest percentage of votes in the previous Parliamentary elections.

5. Degree of urbanisation

  • Urban areas
  • Semi-urban areas
  • Sparsely populated areas

The dividing factor is the degree of urbanisation, that is, the share of population living in urban areas. The voting districts of cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants are counted as urban areas. However, if these make up over one-third of the voting districts in the constituency, the voting districts with the highest degree of urbanisation are counted as urban areas so that one-third of the voting districts is in this class. The remaining two-thirds are counted as semi-urban areas. Of the voting districts outside large cities the half which has a higher degree of urbanisation is counted as a population centre area and the one with the lower degree of urbanisation is counted as a sparsely populated area.

NB 1. The whole constituency of Helsinki (01) counts as an urban area.

NB 2. The constituency of South-Savo (09) has no cities with a population of over 50,000, and therefore no urban areas.

6. Proportion of children aged under 7 of the population

  • Many children aged under 7 in the area
  • Average number of children aged under 7 in the area
  • Few children aged under 7 in the area

The districts are divided into three roughly equally large groups on the basis of the percentages of children. Constituencies have different average sizes of families with children. For the purpose of this analysis, it is assumed that the number of children indicates the share of families with children sufficiently accurately.

7. Income level

  • High income level
  • Average income level
  • Low income level

The voting districts are divided into three groups on the basis of the income of the working population.

 


Last updated 8.3.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Parliamentary elections [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-6279. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 11.5.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/evaa/evaa_2007-03-12_men_001_en.html