Pay for politics: 2019 general election spending revealed

Some politicians ran thrifty campaigns, spending just a few hundred euros - while others topped €100,000 with their election budgets.

File picture showing exterior of parliament with flowers, spring 2019 / Credit: News Now Finland

How much does it take to win, or lose, a seat in parliament?

Depending on the candidates, the campaign budget could range from a thrifty €300 to a whopping €115,000!

The deadline for politicians to declare their election campaign budgets has come and gone, with a total of 227 MPs and deputies required to report where there money came from to fund their general election campaigns.

Hey, big spenders

There were several politicians who crossed the €100,000 barrier with their spending, including the National Coalition Party’s Elina Lepomäki who clocked up the biggest campaign war chest at €115,600. Her cash came from big business like UPM and Sampo, and private individuals like Björn Wahlroos, one of Finland’s richest men who donated €6000.

Another NCP politician Milla Bruneau had more than €100,000 for her campaign and she put in €48,000 of her own money but still failed to get elected in the Häme constituency.

Former education minister Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP) spent more than €97,000 but only €300 from her own pocket.

Another NCP politician Juhana Vartiainen from Helsinki had a campaign fund of €71,000 including €19,000 of his own money; while Arto Satonen (NCP) spent close to €100,000 with €92,000 of it being his own cash.

More modest campaigns 

Not every politician needed a huge campaign finance fund to be effective.

Finns Party Chairman Jussi Halla-aho reported that his campaign cost just €307.52; while Jaana Pelkonen (NCP) spent just under €900 on her campaign, and just €400 of her own money.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) spent €62,700. Former PM Juha Sipilä spent €46,000. National Coalition Party leader Petteri Orpo spent €64,000. New Green leader Maria Ohisalo spent €50,000; and former Green chair Pekka Haavisto had a budget of nearly €27,000.

Party leaders of course benefit from the publicity of being included in high profile television debates and newspaper interviews.

No info from some politicians

A few politicians or deputies failed to meet the deadline to publish their campaign finance details, including Katja Taimela (SDP), Mika Flöjt (Green) and Anne Nyman (Left Alliance).