Far-right populism is an illness inflicting Europe at present and it now has a beachhead in Finland.
Migrant Tales (18.4.2011)
d. Yle published an opinion poll today showing the radical-right Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, Social Democrats, and National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) neck and neck.
Another poll published Wednesday by Helsingin Sanomat showed Kokoomus leading (19.8%), followed by the Social Democrats and PS, tied at 19.2% apiece.
Read the full story here.
Considering how close the three parties are in the opinion polls, anything can happen and have for the first time a PS prime minister. That would be quite a feat in the face of the party’s historic victory in 2011 when it raised the number of MPs to 39 from 5 previously.
I remember apprehension that election day 11 years ago. Some were in shock, while others played it down. You’ll see, it is only a matter before they implode, some said, assuring themselves.
One of the lessons learned from the entry of a major Islamophobic party in Finnish politics in the last decade is that matters only get more polarized and the rhetoric more hostile.
The PS bases its politics on anti-immigration sentiment, which has crippled Finland’s ability to debate the topic and cultural diversity civilly. Spreading fear of other groups is the elixir that the PS drinks to get political power.
A political analyst told me recently that he hoped the PS would win big on Sunday.
“I want the PS to win big, alone, without the help of other parties like Kokoomus,” he said. “Then we’ll see what the party is made of.”
Moreover, the PS will not get over 50% majority of seats in parliament, which means that they will have to compromise to rule with others if they enter government.
It is still uncertain that the PS will do as well as opinion polls suggest. Some expected the party to win in the municipal election of 2021, but it came in fourth place.
Let’s see what happens on Sunday and then count our chicks.