HELSINKI — Finland’s governing conservatives won the national election yesterday over two opposition parties that have challenged bailouts to debt-ridden members of the euro zone, the country’s electoral commission said.
With all votes counted, the biggest vote-winner was the conservative National Coalition Party, part of the current center-right government and an advocate for European integration.
The conservatives won 20 percent of the vote and 44 seats in the 200-member Parliament. The opposition Social Democrats won 42 seats, and the nationalist True Finns soared from six to 39 seats.
The anti-immigration and staunchly euro-skeptic True Finns oppose bailouts for Portugal and other cash-strapped European countries, and the Social Democrats have called for changes to how they are funded.
The outcome means conservative leader Jyrki Katainen will have to invite at least one of the parties to coalition talks, raising questions about Finland’s support for rescue packages that need unanimous approval in the 17-member euro zone.
“This result will give Europe gray hairs; it will cause them problems over the bailout funds,’’ said Olavi Borg, political science professor.
If any single country pulls out, the system will crash, leading to a worsening of the debt crisis at a time when the group is deciding whether bailouts will end with Portugal or will also be needed for larger economies like Spain or Italy.
The sharp rise of the True Finns represents a watershed moment in Finnish politics, which have traditionally been dominated by the Social Democrat, Center, and National Coalition parties.
The biggest loser was Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi’s Center Party, dropping 15 seats and a quarter of the support it had in the last election in 2007. “It would appear to be a crushing defeat for us,’’ she said, adding that her party would go into opposition.