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Finnish parliamentary election, 1907

Finnish parliamentary election, 1907
15–16 March 1907 1908 →

All 200 seats to the Parliament
101 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Edvard Valpas.jpg Blank.png Blank.png
Leader Edvard Valpas  ?  ?
Party Social Democratic Finnish Young Finnish
Seats won 80 59 26
Popular vote 329,946 243,573 121,604
Percentage 37.0% 27.3% 13.7%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
  Lille Axel.jpg Karhi.PNG Blank.png
Leader Axel Lille Otto Karhi  ?
Party Swedish People's Agrarian Christian Workers'
Seats won 24 9 2
Popular vote 112,267 51,242 13,790
Percentage 12.6% 5.8% 1.6%

Parliamentary elections were held in the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland on 15 and 16 March 1907. They were the first parliamentary election in which members were elected to the new Parliament of Finland by universal suffrage and the first in the world in which female members were elected.

The election followed the parliamentary reform of 1906 which replaced the Diet of Finland, which was based on the Estates and had its institutional roots in the period of Swedish reign, with a modern unicameral parliament of 200 MPs. The reform was agreed upon after a general strike in Finland in 1905 during which demands for a parliamentary reform arose especially among the Socialists. This coincided with similar development in Russia which too saw a general strike and, after the Russo-Japanese War, the birth of a new institution, the Duma. This background explains why Emperor Nicholas II of Russia allowed the parliamentary reform in Finland.

All political factions of Finland reached an agreement on the reform and the first elections were set for 1907. The 1906 reform ended the first period of attempted Russification in the Grand Duchy of Finland which had begun in 1899 and seen such dramatic episodes as the assassination of Nikolai Bobrikov, the Governor-General of Finland, in 1904.

Before the election of 1907 the legislative power in the Grand Duchy had been vested in the Diet of the Estates, an age old institution of four Estates (the nobility, the clergy, the burghers and the peasants) deriving from the period of Swedish rule and representing only a small portion of the people. This kind of institution had become quite ancient by the early years of the 20th century. The new unicameral parliament was to have 200 MPs, all elected by universal and equal suffrage of citizens over 24 years of age. Women as well were allowed to vote and stand for election; Finnish women received these rights as the first women in Europe. Previously only New Zealand and South Australia had approved universal female suffrage, Finland was the third in the world to do that and the second to grant women the right to stand as candidates in election.