Stubb thus succeeds his extremely popular party colleague Sauli Niinistö, who has been in the post for twelve years.
The polling stations closed at 19:00, Swedish time, and then the results of the advance voting were also announced. More than half of the eligible voters had voted before election day. 52.7 percent of them voted for Alexander Stubb and 47.3 for Pekka Haavisto.
Haavisto crept closer with decimals while the election day votes were counted, but it wasn’t enough.
The opinion polls had previously shown a somewhat larger lead for Stubb.
Intensive campaigning ended on Saturday in freezing cold Finland, where the temperature has been around ten minus degrees in the south and down to 20 in the north. Both presidential candidates, Alexander Stubb and Pekka Haavisto, have voted during the morning: Haavisto in Helsinki and Stubb in Espoo just outside the capital.
Many to convince
The two candidates advanced from the first round two weeks ago, where neither came close to getting half the vote.
In the first round, Stubb, who represents the bourgeois Samlingspartiet (the Moderates’ sister party in Finland), received 27.2 percent of the vote. Pekka Haavisto, with a background in the environmental party The Greens, but who is running as an independent candidate, got 25.8 percent.
Behind them challenged the respective candidates of the True Finns and the Center, and for the past two weeks the battle has been said to be about their voters.
“No need to argue”
In Finland, the president’s most important responsibility is foreign policy, in cooperation with the government. The president is also formally commander-in-chief. The president also appoints the government, which must be approved by the Riksdag.
During the election campaign, the candidates were in agreement on most issues. It is explained by the broad responsibility that the office of president brings with it, Alexander Stubb told TT in connection with his meeting with voters in Helsinki on Saturday.
– And for us, foreign policy is existential. This means that we have a fairly strong consensus, especially now that we are NATO members. It is unnecessary to argue about things that are not worth arguing about.