Research on Finnish Society

Owning protest but sharing distrust?
Confidence in the political system and anti-political-establishment party choice in the Finnish 2011 parliamentary elections

Maria Bäck & Elina Kestilä-Kekkonen
Åbo Akademi University, University of Tampere

In this study we explore to what extent did anti-political-establishment voting mobilized manifest political distrust in the 2011 Finnish parliamentary elections. In particular, we seek to determine whether the channels of manifest political distrust vary for different forms of political trust. Individual-level data from the Finnish National Election Study (FNES 2011, N =1,268) is analyzed by applying multinomial logistic regressions. The results show that anti-political-establishment voting effectively channels both specific and diffuse political distrust, but this dissatisfaction is not reflected as anti-incumbency voting. Furthermore, it seems that a significant amount of latent political distrust, which is not explicitly expressed by party preference at electoral polls, exists in the electorates of several governmental and opposition parties.

Keywords: Political trust, anti-establishment party, protest party, vote choice, Finland

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