How big of a blow was the presidential election of Finland to Soini and the PS?

by , under All categories, Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

Does the defeat of two anti-EU politicians, Center Party’s Paavo Väyrynen and Timo Soini of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, on Sunday suggest a shift from  last year’s parliamentary election that was fueled by anti-EU and anti-immigration sentiment? Even if the municipal election in October will offer us a good answer to that question, yesterday’s election result does show a major shift. 

Even if veteran politician Väyrynen lost a neck-and-neck race to Pekka Haavisto of the Green Party for second spot, his good showing must be a source of  concern for the PS, which relied heavily in April on protest votes from the Center Party.

Sunday’s election result shows as well that voters are losing interest in the PS’ anti-EU and anti-immigration stand. Soini’s poor showing (9.4%) and Väyrynen’s better showing (17.5%) confirm the latter.

A worst-case scenario would have been Soini clinching second place and giving Niinistö a run for his money in the runoff on February 5. Fortunately that did not happen.

For many Finnish voters, especially those with immigrant backgrounds and visible minorities, yesterday’s election result was a long-overdue breath of fresh political oxygen after constantly reading in the media scandals by the PS that exposed the racismhomophobia and anti-democratic credentials of some of their MPs.

Let’s not forget as well the hacked membership directory of the neo-Nazi Suomen Kansalinen Vastarinta, which revealed two PS members on such lists and who are still members of the party.

How long can an ideologically convoluted political party like the PS maintain voter interest in their anti-EU, anti-immigration and pro-conservative views?

A lot of water will have to run under the bridge before the next big test for Soini’s party will be weighed in the municipal election of October 28.

If the last nine months are anything to go by, there is a good chance that the PS’ momentum may suffer  its biggest blow yet this coming fall.

  1. Question

    .

    Finland is about to get forced to pay more into the bailout fund the euro is stating to collapse the EU are about to create another treaty where the voters wont be able to vote if they support it or not and at the same time according to you the Finnish public are rejecting anti EU views and becoming more EU friendly.

    Not one sensible media outlet who understands Finnish politics will say that Timo votes are the rejection of the so called politics of hate or rejection of being anti EU. But a party and supporters thinking about what is more important to them long term.

    You are really living in your own created delusion

  2. Question

    So do you think that Timo Soini wanted to be president as he knew that he could be more successful in pulling Finland out of the EU as being president of Finland rather than being a MP standing up in parliament and forcing the government to explain themselves and at the same time encouraging other MPs to defect to PS which would threaten the governments already slim majority?

  3. Question

    Is Sauli Niinistö really pro EU in the same vein as the likes of Lipponen. After all it is his party who will take the flack for the EU failures. How long will it be when kokoomus will start becoming more critical towards the EU than supportive of it

  4. Allan

    Enrique – remember the two plates? What exactly could Timo Soini do as a President? He can ski, he can fish, he can even do rock’n’roll, but the president of Finland has no say in the EU decisions.The Cabinet makes the EU decisions – Prime Minister sits there in the EU meetings, not the President.

    Soini as a Prime Minister – now that is where you get the effect you want if you want to do EU decisions, so why in the world would anyone want to remove him from the loop for 6 years?

    What comes to the “top 3” candidates, all three are dissidents and do not follow the “party main line”. They were raised as “elder statesmen” in their respective parties, rather than representing their sitting chairmen or the current line.

    The Centre has Väyrynen as the internal opposition, the current chairmanship has a totally different agenda so any votes Väyrynen got, went to him, not Kiviniemi. Niinistö and the Stubido-Katainen axle are totally on different lines regarding the EU. Likewise, the people voting for Haavisto like me, why would I vote for nephew-Niinistö’s citygreens who have a totally different agenda? Or will the SDP get a dismal 6% of the vote? The pack will get shuffled more than once.

    The biggest issue in October will be the county reform, then the EU bailouts.The PS will have a landslide in October. Watch out for the bushes, someone may yell “Pöö!”

  5. Question

    The likes of Enrique should be disappointed that Timo did not become president as he is more of a danger being a MP where he is surrounded by his troops.

    Also if the government bowls down to demands that AAA rated countries like Finland pay more to the bailout fund then that will be the end of this government.

    As the news of those demands was broken support for Timo also dropped..

  6. Allan

    “Sunday’s election result shows as well that voters are losing interest in the PS’ anti-EU and anti-immigration stand. Soini’s poor showing (9.4%) and Väyrynen’s better showing (17.5%) confirm the latter.”

    Enrique, I must bow to your superior cognitive ability. Lipponen’s even worse showing of (6,7%) and Biaudet’s (2,7%) must mean that SDP’s pro-EU agenda and SFP’s pro-immigration agenda got so much blow that wind is whistling through your open mind. Thanks for pointing this out.

    • Enrique

      Look at it this way, Allan. How much ammunition would have the PS got if Soini made it to the second round. There would be no stopping him in the municipal election in October. However, that prospect, the momentum from April, is now a question mark. Finns are voting for basically two values in the runoffs: conservative (Niinistö) and liberal (Haavisto). It’s not pro-EU or anti-EU.

      So, that critical anti-EU voice is losing effectiveness to reach voters. Why? Because other political parties will use it to lure votes but not in the populist style like the PS.

      And you forget one important factor. When a party like the PS grows other ones opposed to it grow as well.

      If you look at today’s Uusi Suomi you’ll note that it is a party that is more like a tinderbox ready to implode.

  7. Question

    Every one knew that Lipponen fanatical support for the EU was going to be the reason for his election failure.

    His comments that Finland returning to the markka was a “A romantic notion” was insulting to all those who have to pay due to the failed currency which is the euro.

    The idea that Finland is back on the EU train is incorrect. Finland may be willing at this moment to have a pro EU president but we now expect there to be critical view towards the EU when the situation calls for it.

    As having a pro EU prime minster well that is a different story

  8. Question

    “And you forget one important factor. When a party like the PS grows other ones opposed to it grow as well.”

    I think I proved that incorrect

    ” Look at it this way, Allan. How much ammunition would have the PS got if Soini made it to the second round”.

    But then he may become president Is it worth taking the risk?

    “So, that critical anti-EU voice is losing effectiveness to reach voters”

    So Finnish voters are now happy with bailing out the euro?

    • Enrique

      –I think I proved that incorrect.

      Have you ever seen so many people in Finland mobilized against the James Hirvisaaris and Jussi Halla-ahos of the PS? It’s commendable. People are rightfully horrified by the prospect of these far-right hot heads getting more power.

      Migrant Tales is another example. After the April 17 election, traffic to this blog has grown many fold. People are worried and have a right to be.

  9. Question

    How difficult is for you to understand that PS voters never wanted Timo to become president. And when he was looking like he could have made into the second round they dropped their support and instead voted for Väyrynen as he has similar views on Europe

    And it was nothing to do with political parties opposing PS as their votes where a embarrassment and where never a threat to the votes of PS

  10. Question

    You can not judge a political party’s performance when even its supporters did not want their candidate to win?

    Had they wanted him to win then today we still would be saying that Finland still has a strong anti EU voice

    • Enrique

      –You can not judge a political party’s performance when even its supporters did not want their candidate to win?

      That’s a funny excuse why Soini lost. It shows, then, that Soini miscalculated badly his candidacy for president. With your reasoning, the PS would collapse from the knees if Soini left. I don’t see a very good future for such a party.

  11. Question

    Have you ever seen so many people in Finland mobilized against the James Hirvisaaris and Jussi Halla-ahos of the PS? It’s commendable. People are rightfully horrified by the prospect of these far-right hot heads getting more power.

    But why did the votes not reflect that? For any political parties which claims to be the party to vote for if you are opposed to the PS they where truly embarrassing .

    Of course the presidential election is not a true reflection of how people politically vote but even you must have been expecting better results from those parties

    • Enrique

      The votes were reflected by those that voted for Niinistö and Haavisto. Väyrynen and especially Soini lost big time.

  12. Allan

    “Have you ever seen so many people in Finland mobilized against the James Hirvisaaris and Jussi Halla-ahos of the PS? ”

    All three? Thats about as many votes you will get if you stand in as a candidate. Will you? I’d love to see the fruits of your campaign.

  13. Question

    Once again.And hopefully for the last time

    With there being a chance that Timo could be the next prime minster of Finland why would PS destroy that chance by making him president?

    Had PS taken the election more serious Timo would as the polls where suggesting would have made into the second round. Väyrynen problem was maybe not being seen strong enough to be a president with anti EU views

  14. Question

    “The votes were reflected by those that voted for Niinistö and Haavisto. Väyrynen and especially Soini lost big time”

    Your sound like you are about to throw your toys out of the pram

    Your trying to keep you view going and this attack of the truth you are facing is starting to wear you down

  15. Question

    From YLE English:

    Low support for Soini

    Soini’s own poor showing, compared to his support at the parliamentary election, was not necessarily a verdict on his party and their values.

    “Timo Soini’s campaign didn’t have the same energy and motivation as the Finns’ party did in the parliamentary election,” said YLE election pundit Ville Pernaa. “At the same time his supporters were never sure whether they wanted Soini to be president or to continue as the party chair.”

    Pernaa cautioned against seeing the first round results as a defeat for the Finns’ party. He said the true test of that will come in the first party support barometer poll after the election.

    • Enrique

      –Pernaa cautioned against seeing the first round results as a defeat for the Finns’ party. He said the true test of that will come in the first party support barometer poll after the election.

      That’s his opinion. The real test will come on October 28 in the municipal election. Soini’s poor showing is nothing to write home. Nobody is writing him off but you got to admit it was a disappointment for his party.

  16. Question

    At the same time his supporters were never sure whether they wanted Soini to be president or to continue as the party chair.”

  17. Question

    At the same time his supporters were never sure whether they wanted Soini to be president or to continue as the party chair.”.

  18. justicedemon

    Question

    We only have to note how many times you have returned to this topic saying the same thing over and over again to see that you are unconvinced by your own arguments.

    Indeed much of what you say about Ricky is far more clearly a commentary on your own insecurities.

    • Enrique

      –Indeed much of what you say about Ricky is far more clearly a commentary on your own insecurities.

      And that goes for what you say about JusticeDemon, Mark, this blog and others. There have been over 17,400 threads on Migrant Tales. JusticeDemon and I have gone through most of them. Mark has read and answered hundreds of comments on Migrant Tales. This gives us a perspective and view of the arguments that are being pitched in public out there. Add an adjective to immigration policy and we can tell you pretty well how far right you are and who are your anti-immigration mentors.

  19. Question

    .”,

    Its more about about having a view which now has been proved to be wrong and people like yourself you wont admit to your mistake. Its more about your insecurities.of not willing to live in the real world but instead of your self created deluded comfort zone

    I would admit to being wrong but it is very difficult as I’m always right

  20. Question

    The view on this blog is that Timos low vote was a rejection of their views Theses lines where from a online arcticle which proved the fact that Timos vote was due to voters wanting Timo to remain as a MP.

    If you where willing to admit to being wrong I would not have to post it many times but it seems to be the only way to get through to you

  21. Question

    He said the true test of that will come in the first party support barometer poll after the election.

    We say no more on the subject and see what the next barometer poll says.

    The first barometer poll after Norway worked in PS favor so I feel confident that the next one will once again will work in PS favor

    • Enrique

      –With the odd interjection now and again about Question’s obvious insecurities, we can easily keep this thread going until 28 October.

      That’s fine by me, JusticeDemon.

  22. Mark

    Question

    The view on this blog is that Timos low vote was a rejection of their views Theses lines where from a online arcticle which proved the fact that Timos vote was due to voters wanting Timo to remain as a MP.

    My point, Q, was actually quite different, that it’s actually very hard to decide what the votes mean, but that since the last national election, the PS vote was almost halved, and by any standard, that has to be a failure, especially as it was Timo who was going for the presidency. In any light, it’s bad. If he failed to get votes because they only trust him to head the party and no-one else, that’s a sad reflection on the strength in depth of their politicians. If it wasn’t that, then it is a fact that PS have seen their policies returning much closer to the levels prior to the election. But, I have said that this is speculation.

    However, you seem to confuse speculation with proof, Q! The article offered no proof whatsoever that the relatively low PS vote was due to voters wanting Timo as MP, as you put it. And until a poll comes out that properly explores voters voting patterns and motivations, you also have no proof either. But, hey, you said you were always right. How does that fit now, to see perhaps for the first time that you were wrong about something. My GOD! You could be wrong about other things too. Oh no! Get the nappies out, I think my bowels just gave way! 🙂

  23. Allan

    Nice logic Mark. So as SDP which got 19,10 % of the vote in the last national elections now got only 6,70%, which is a 2/3 drop and by any standard, that has to be a failure…. so where exactly that leaves Jutta? Will she replace Tuksu as the next 7 centrefold in fishnets?

  24. Mark

    Allan

    It’s a fair point. This election has damaged her as an individual politician, but the effect on the party is less than the damage to PS because she is not the backbone of the SDP. Soini however is the be-all and end-all of the PS. A fact that far too many people within PS and their supporters seem very keen to point out in saying they didn’t want him to be president.

    Difference circumstances in regard to their party roles, so different interpretation, Allan.

  25. Allan

    Well, I’m still waiting to see Jugner to find his backbone in the SDP’s annual meet.

    I’d say a definite “winner” in the election was Essayah though. The KD has always been in the margins, but she was quite affirmative.

    The 2nd round is going to be interesting. Haavisto’s problem in the countryside isn’t being gay as muchg as being Green. The farmers hate the greens vigorously. Say “Natura 2000” and they start foaming in the mouth.

  26. MaryMekko

    Allan, Putin’s plan for Russia is the only way – assimilation. If ethnic groups do not want to go along with the dominant culture, why should they move out of their own areas?

    Look at the nonsense in USA called LA RAZA, the race, a group of people from many different rraces but theoretically bound by the Spanish language and culture. Whether black, white or Indian, these immigrants think they’re duty-bound to resist the “white” culture of USA or that they will lose their identities.

    I say, let all the Finns be forced to learn Arabic or Ethiopian in school to show how very modern, multi-cultural and tolerant they’re becoming. Why learn Swedish, gee whiz, that tiiny tiny minority in Finland doesn’t count, and why should they have special rights?

    Meanwhile, notice how the grand majority of Californians whose parents don’t speak Spanish still haven’t quite learned this immigrant la-razzamatazz-imposed “second language”. For Pete’s sake, soon Finland will be like California, with 281 languages in its school system! (No joke, that is the reason that mandatory “bilingual” education had to end, too many different ethnic groups were striving for the tax money to be taught in their own language).

  27. Allan

    LOL @ MaryMekko, wear the sun in La Reyna.

    Back to the blow, or size of the warm fart:
    http://yle.fi/uutiset/talous_ja_politiikka/2012/01/kokoomuksen_etumatka_muihin_puolueisiin_kasvaa_3210395.html

    Looks like the “pecking order” is still the same. Kokoomus is really making the headway. It seems though even Vayrynen had a strong support, it doesn’t reflect on Kiviniemi’s “city-kokoomus”. SDP is in a sad spiral, the Greens have gotten some gains trying to hit 10%, no doubt lifted by getting on to the 2nd round. And Enriques favorite PS party, still in the 2nd place though at 17% versus its 23% peak.

    It seems instead of the “big three” there is now a “rabbit” and “three lurchers”, and a pack of yapping hounds following.