Yesterday’s amazing election in Finland is over. The business of forming a new government now begins.
The two parties with the most votes (NCP and SDP) will almost certainly align, but neither wants any part of the True Finns, who emerged yesterday as the most potent political force in Finnish politics.
From The Economist:
The National Coalition Party (NCP), a pro-EU member of the outgoing coalition, lost six seats but still emerged as the largest party. It will now lead negotiations on the composition of the new government. These talks will be fraught with difficulty. “Coalition talks are always a bit complicated in Finland, and this time it will be more difficult than usual,” says Pasi Saukkonen, a political scientist at Helsinki University.
Mari Kiviniemi, the prime minister, said her Centre Party would return to opposition after it lost 16 seats. This means that the NCP will likely seek to form a government with the opposition Social Democrats (SDP), which came second, with 42 seats. The pair would need to recruit at least one other party to gain it a majority. (Minority governments, although common in other Nordic countries, are frowned on in Finland and would only be considered as a last resort.)
That leaves the True Finns well positioned to lobby for cabinet seats. The problem is that Jyrki Katainen, leader of the NCP and probably the next prime minister, is diametrically at odds with the True Finns’ anti-EU line. Patching together an NCP-SDP-True Finn coalition might therefore prove difficult. The NCP and SDP could instead secure a minority by relying on two or more smaller parties.
If the True Finns are excluded from the new Finnish national government, its numbers will likely grow. If their “message” is ignored by the new government, the True Finns will likely grow faster. Who knew that Finnish politics was so interesting?
You can read the full Economist report by clicking here.