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Browsing by Subject "vaalimaantiede"

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  • Isotalo, Veikko (2018)
    At this point, there is still very little European research regarding immigrants’ political participation. Traditionally, immigrants have been perceived as a politically passive group, whereas in this paper, immigrants are seen as politically active agents. In this research, the supply and demand of immigrant-background candidates in the 2017 Helsinki municipal elections is examined. To be classified as an immigrant-background candidate, a candidate’s mother tongue was required to be other than Finnish, Swedish or Sami. In terms of this paper, supply is referred to as political candidates’ demographical, socio-economical characteristics, values and previous political engagements; on the other hand, demand for the candidates is interpreted through the electoral success of these candidates in 2017 Helsinki municipal elections. Data for inspecting the supply-side of candidates was comprised from Ministry of Justice’s election results data set and Yle’s and Helsingin Sanomat’s voting advice applications. Immigrant-background candidates were analyzed through comparison to native Finnish candidates and all the elected candidates with multitude of factors. As data for demand-side analysis, I used geospatial and statistical data, which were created by merging electoral results of Helsinki’s voting districts to the city districts’ population information. In the geographical core support district analysis, immigrant-background candidates’ vote shares were analyzed party-wise, which allowed the comparison of immigrant-background candidates’ success from one party to another. Additionally, linear regression was employed and its results contrasted to geographically weighted regression’s results. Geographically weighted regression was utilized to find geographical patterns with explanatory factors of immigrant-background candidates’ and their parties’ electoral support. Supply-side analysis’ main research findings were following: leftist parties (Left Alliance, SDP, the Greens) mobilized more immigrant-background candidates. Socio-economic status of immigrant-background candidates was found to be similar to the native Finnish candidates’ position which suggests that many immigrant-background candidates were in high socio-economical position relative to their referential groups. More so, immigrant-background candidates participated less in creating their profiles in the voting advice applications, to which one possible explanation could be that parties nominated some immigrant-background candidates merely to diversify their candidate lists. Demand-side analysis revealed that the support for immigrant-background candidates is either strongly connected to their parties’ district-wise support, which is the case for the Greens’ and SDP, where immigrant-background candidates’ vote share was high along their parties’, or conversely, immigrant-background candidates’ vote shares were maximized in districts that were not party’s core support districts, as it was in the case of the National Coalition Party. In the regression models, one detects that the immigrant-background candidates’ district vote shares increased in districts with a large proportional African-background population. In the local regression model, the variable in question became more influential in East Helsinki, which can be interpreted as a possible higher rate of mobilization, i.e. turnout, of some ethnic groups of immigrant-background voters. This is the first study to research immigrant-background candidates’ electoral success in Finland. The future research should focus on this paper’s observations on immigrant-background candidates and their electoral support, because the political influence of these candidates is ought to increase due to increasing immigrant population and the second generation of immigrants reaching the voting age.