The populist-nationalist Finns Party has come a close second in national elections in Finland, missing out on victory by a margin of just 0.2% of the popular vote.
The Finns Party won 17.5% of the vote, behind the center-left Social Democratic Party, which won first place with 17.7% of the vote. The two core parties of the ruling coalition government, the center-right National Coalition and the centrist Centre Party came third and fourth respectively with 17% and 13.8% of the vote each. In Finland’s proportional representation electoral system, the percentage of the vote each party gets roughly represents the number of seats they win.
However, the establishment political parties on both left and right in Finland have made clear that they will not work with the Finns Party under any circumstances. The Social Democratic Party is expected to team up with the National Coalition, the Swedish People’s Party, the Green League and even the communist-linked Left Alliance in order to form a government that keeps the upstart populists out.
The Finns Party previously participated in the Finnish government from 2015-17, but left the ruling center-right coalition following a leadership change within the party. The new Finns Party leader, Jussi Halla-aho, took a much harder nationalist line on cultural issues, as well as embracing pro-market economic policies. Today, the party stands for defending Finnish sovereignty from the EU, ending mass Islamic immigration, lowering taxes, and defending traditional values.
The strong result for the Finns Party bodes well for nationalists and populists across the European continent in the European Parliament elections, which are set to take place next month. The party was one of the first to sign up to the European Alliance of People and Nations, a new alliance of patriotic parties led by firebrand Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, which seeks to disrupt the globalist European Union project from within.