I still remember April 2011, when the anti-EU, anti-immigration and especially anti-Islam Perussuomalaiset (PS) party opened a gloomy chapter in Finland’s history by getting 39 MPs elected to parliament. The election was impressive to say the least considering that only 5 PS MPs got elected in 2007.
While some were surprised by the election result, some played it down. They felt that the PS would blow over and that it’s only a question of time when the party would implode, like the Rural Party of the 1970s, due to internal differences.
While the PS does well in opinion polls, the presidential and municipal elections were a far cry from the historic result that the right-wing populist party gained in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
With two crucial make-or-break elections in May and April 2015, the million-euro question is how well will the PS fare.
Certainly a lot of things can happen from here to May and April of next year, there are signs that the public is getting tired of the PS political scandals and the racism that continues to plague the party.
While there was a definite honeymoon with the PS’ chairman, Timo Soini, the media and public have started to lose interest in the charismatic leader.
And this is quite understandable considering that the PS have not given one credible solution to put the Finnish economy back on a healthy path of growth. It’s MPs are more interested in whining and machismo, which has a heavy dose of intolerance, nationalism and bravado, instead of offering credible solutions.
One of the biggest mistakes that the PS is making at this moment is that it believes its election good fortunes of 2011 are eternal, which reveals why the party has become arrogant and power-hungry.
I believe that we’ll see big surprises in the following MEP and parliamentary elections and that the election of PS MP Jussi Halla-aho is still undecided. Certainly the misfortunes of the PS rest on themselves and how well Finland’s traditional parties can expose Soini’s political antics and double-talk.
Finland took a clear swing to the populist and far-right three years ago. Finnish voters in 2012 gave an inconclusive show of support to the PS in the presidential and municipal elections.
The next two elections will decide whether the PS will be sent or not back to the minor political leagues.