A poll commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) revealed more pain for the nationalist populist Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which saw its support plummet below 10% to 9.8%. The party that gained the most in the poll were the Social Democrats, which saw their support rise by 2.4 percentage points to 20.7%.
Trying to become a “mainstream” party in government has been like digesting poison for the PS, which has based its support on nationalism and anti-immigration rhetoric.
For Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society the poll is the best news yet in a long time.
It’s naive to believe that the PS could ever abandon its racism and nationalism since that would mean committing political hara-kiri. Being a member of government has apparently a swifter hara-kiri for the party.
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While some have waited for the populist party to face the same fate as its predecessor the Rural Party in the 1970s, when the party imploded due to internal bickering, it is the voters that are giving the thumbs down today to the PS.
One diplomatic source told Migrant Tales recently that the PS appears like the sinking Titanic. The orchestra is playing and that distracts people from their doom.
I have written before that the even if the PS may implode or return back to the minor leagues, it’s what is coming after them that could be scarier.
Support for the PS will be tested in April 2017, when Finland will hold municipal elections.
* The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.