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Communist Party of Finland

Communist Party of Finland (Suomen Kommunistinen Puolue, abbreviated SKP) is a political party endorsing communism in Finland.

Table of contents
1 Early stages
2 Cold War
3 Collapse

Early stages

In 1918 the "Reds" lost the Finnish Civil War. The Social Democratic Party of Finland had supported the losing side, and several of its leaders were refugees in the Soviet Union. Some of these refugees founded the Communist Party of Finland in Moscow. Initially the communists were considered traitors by a vast majority of Finns.

SKP was suppressed in 1923 and again in 1930. After the Continuation War SKP dominated the Finnish People's Democratic League, which was founded in 1944 as an umbrella organization of the political left wing.

Cold War

The era of the Cold War was the "golden age" of Communists in Finland. Between 1944 and 1990 the support of SKP was in the range 15%-20%. Communists participated in several cabinets, but Finland had never a communist Prime Minister or President. It is believed that SKP received substantial financial support from the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

SKP and the Social Democrats tried to dominate the political left. The competition was very bitter in Trade Unions and other leftist organizations. The Communists lost ground gradually, and internal disputes weakened them. A stalinist minority faction (SKP-Y, where Y is for Yhtenäisyys or Unity) often attacked the less radical party leadership.


The collapse of the Soviet Union led to ideological bankruptcy, and bitter internal disputes plagued the party. The depression that started 1989 resulted in financial bankruptcy the following year. SKP never recovered. Majority of the party members, with other member organizations of People's Democratic League, formed the Left Alliance (Finland).

Die-hard communists have kept the organization alive, but after 1990 SKP is not a significant political force, but a historical curiosity. The vote share in the elections of 2003 was 0.8%.

See also: Politics of Finland, History of Finland