Liberalism and centrism in Finland

This article gives an overview of liberalism and centrism in Finland. It is limited to liberal and centrist parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it is not necessary so that parties labeled themselves as a liberal party.



Liberalism was a major force in Finland since 1894. After independence the current gradually decreased. A major other force, agrarianism, choose in 1965 to develop itself into a more centrist current. The liberal character of the Finnish Center (Suomen Keskusta), member of LI and ELDR, is based on liberal ideas like decentralization, peasant-like freedom and progressivism.[1] The Swedish minority party Swedish People's Party (Svenska Folkpartiet i Finland, is also a member of LI, ELDR). The original liberal current is now organized in the Liberals (Liberaalit), a very small extra-parliamentary party. At the autonomous island of Åland the Liberals for Åland (Liberalerna på Åland, observer LI) are a dominant force.

The timeline

Liberal Club / Liberal Party

  • 1877: Liberals formed the Liberal Club (Liberaalinen Klubi), renamed in 1880 Liberal Party (Liberaalinen Puolue)
  • 1882: The Liberal Party disappeared

From Young Finnish Party to Liberals

  • 1894: Liberal fennomans formed the Young Finns Party (Nuorsuomalainen Puolue)
  • 1918: The NSP is reorganised into the National Progressive Party (Kansallinen Edistyspuolue)
  • 1951: The KEP fell apart into the Finnish People's Party (Suomen Kansanpuolue) and the ⇒ Free-minded League
  • 1965: The SK and the ⇒ Free-minded League reunited into the Liberal People's Party (Liberaalinen Kansanpuolue)
  • 1982: The LKP associated itself with the ⇒ Center Party
  • 1987: The LKP disassociated itself from the ⇒ Center Party
  • 1995: Last time LKP had a seat in the parliament, since then has been a very small extra-parliamentary party
  • 2000: The LKP renamed itself as Liberals (Liberaalit)
  • 2007: Removed from the party registry after failing to get a seat in two consecutive parliamentary elections

Swedish People's Party

  • 1906 Liberal svekomans formed the present-day Swedish People's Party in Finland (Svenska Folkpartiet i Finland)

People's Party

  • 1917: Progressive liberals formed the People's Party (Finland) (Kansanpuolue)
  • 1918: The People's Party merged into the ⇒ National Progressive Party

Free-minded League

  • 1951: The ⇒ National Progressive Party fell apart and the Free-minded League (Vapaamielisten Liitto) is formed
  • 1965: The League merged with the ⇒ Finnish People's Party into the ⇒ Liberal People's Party

Centre Party / Finnish Centre


  • 1965: The agrarian Agrarian League (Maalaisliitto) reorganised itself into the Centre Party (Keskustapuolue) and accepted a more or less liberal position
  • 1987: The Centre Party is renamed Finnish Centre (Suomen Keskusta)

Liberal and centrist leaders

Liberal thinkers

In the Contributions to liberal theory the following Finnish thinker is included:

See also


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