Earlier, it was confirmed that the True Finns would not be joining in Finland’s coalition government, choosing to stay out of a group that has agreed to support Portugal’s bailout.While in the short-term, this will stop the True Finns from achieving any of their policy goals on EU reform and immigration, it will offer them a political opportunity. As the independent voice for reform of Finland’s relationship with the EU, the party will now be able to speak openly against all government action on bailouts.
It’s not as if membership in a coalition was sure to help the True Finns. Party leader Timo Soini need only look to London to see what can go wrong for a junior member in a coalition government. There, Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats have rapidly lost public support, and seen their aims at reforming the country’s electoral system broadly voted down.
If, as is expected, the eurozone crisis continues to muddle along for the next four years, and public support for bailouts continues to weaken, the True Finns could pick up even more seats at the next Finnish election, and either lead a coalition, or lead themselves.
Typically, those elections come every 4-years. But a weak centrist Finnish coalition may not be able to hold, offering Soini and his party a quick opportunity to increase their share of the vote and, potentially, power.