Sanna Marin is stepping down – what will this mean for Finland?

By Rebecca Hyde-Price Aggestam

Photo: The Finnish Government

Finland’s youngest prime minister will leave her post as the leader of the country’s Social Democrat party

She’s one of the most relatable figures in today’s political landscape, but Sanna Marin’s time in office is no more. It was announced on Wednesday that the Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin will be leaving her post, a position which she has held since 2019, following a defeat of the Social Democrats in a national election on Sunday.


“Now it’s time to join the ranks again and step down from the party chair’s position,” Marin said at a press conference, according to Finnish public broadcaster Yle.

With over three years under her belt, Marin has led Finland through challenging times, including a global pandemic. She has also been widely praised for her work getting Finland’s bid for Nato membership approved, along with her vocal and continued support of Ukraine. But her time in office hasn’t been without some hiccups too, including the clubbing controversy which saw supporters galvanised under the hashtag #keepdancingsanna.

Marin’s departure is one of a spate of female political leaders who recently stepped away from power, including New Zealand’s former prime minister and Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern and Scotland’s then first minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The defeat of the Social Democrats and centre-left’s power in Finland reflects the waxing and waning of the balance between left and right in Europe. The shift in the political dynamics has also been seen here in Sweden, too. Sweden, a reliably socialist stronghold, changed course and elected Ulf Kristersson, the leader of the Moderate Party to premiership, removing the first-ever female prime minister Magdalena Andersson from the post.