Election Cash Details: Show Me The Money!

Two more candidates reveal their campaign fundraising & spending estimates - so who's got the most money?

Composite picture of Left Alliance presidential candidate Merja Kyllönen (L) and Finns Party presidential candidate Laura Huhtasaari (R) / Credit: News Now Finland

All but one of the eight candidates in the upcoming presidential election have filed financial paperwork about their campaigns.

Veteran campaigner Paavo Väyrynen, who is not running for a major party at this election, is the lone hold out.

Today, Merja Kyllönen (Left) and Laura Huhtasaari (Finns) were the latest candidates to file the required documents.

Left Alliance – No TV Or Radio Advertising

Kyllönen’s campaign has the smallest budget of the seven candidates who have so far revealed their election war chest. The Left Alliance candidate and MEP has €148,000 at her disposal. Most of it – €100,000 – comes from the party directly, but €48,000 comes from individuals and organisations. That includes €10,000 from the Industrial Union Teollisuusliitto.

The campaign is spending most of its money on online advertising (€65,000) and newspaper advertising (€20,000); but zero on radio and television adverts. Kyllönen’s campaign has allocated just €9,000 for campaign rallies.

Finns Party – Big TV & Radio Spends

Huhtasaari has raised more money, some €210,000. The vast majority comes from the party, but €10,000 has been contributed by private individuals, although no single person or organisation gave more than €1500, which would have to be declared separately under campaign finance rules.

The Huhtasaari campaign has decided to spend big on radio and television adverts, with €115,000 allocated there; plus another €15,000 for newspapers and €15,000 for online adverts.

Other Candidates

So how do Kyllönen and Huhtasaari stack up against the other candidates in terms of campaign budgets?

In previously filed documents, Matti Vanhanen (Centre) said he’d raised €550,000 mostly from his own party, but also significant amounts from private individuals and companies. He’s allocated the majority of advertising cash to television (€120,000) and newspapers (€100,000). Plus another €100,000 to campaign rallies.

Social Democrat Tuula Haatainen has raised €636,500 for her campaign. Again, the majority comes from the party itself, but there are also donations from organisations like the Industrial Union Teollisuusliitto (€20,000); Metalworkers’ Union’s Social Democrat study association (€20,000); and the Private Service Sector Union PAM (€30,000). Haatainen’s campaign is buying most advertising online (€172,000); with smaller amounts going to television (€94,000); and newspapers (€94,000). She is not spending an money on radio advertising.

Swedish People’s Party candidate Nils Torvals €420,000 had raised when he filed his advance financial paperwork. Interestingly, only €100,000 comes from the party itself. A quarter of a million euros comes from the Finnish Bilingual Foundation Stiftelsen för det tvåspråkiga Finland which has traditionally supported SFP candidates.

Incumbent President Sauli Niinistö has raised the most money by far, with €1.5 million in the campaign coffers. As he’s running outside the party system – although endorsed by the National Coalition Party and Christian Democrats – all his money comes from big business which donated up to €100,000; associations; and dozens of wealthy individuals who gave between €2000 and €15,000 each. Some of the big name donors include former Nokia boss Jorma Ollila, and Supercell founder Ilkka Paananen. Niinistö is spending big money on newspaper advertising (€300,000); television ads (€125,000) and campaign rallies around the country (€400,000).

Meanwhile Green Alliance candidate Pekka Haavisto has raised €234,000 so far. The cash has come fairly evenly from his own party, from companies, political associations and private donations. Haavisto’s campaign has decided not to spend any money on radio or television advertising, and spent a modest €17,000 on campaign rallies. Instead, most of the advertising spend goes into newspapers (€35,000) and internet (€47,500).