Finnish post election sclerosis

The Social Democrats received the largest number of votes (17.7%) in April’s general election and are now trying to form a new government.

The True Finns came second with 17.5%, and the 2 incumbents the Conservatives and the Center Party received 17% and 13.8% respectively.

The True Finns, like the Sweden Democrats in Sweden, are untouchables for the time being. Their history of rather extreme activities related to xenophobia, and malfeasance puts them offside as far as the incumbents are concerned. Whatever we think about this party, one must remember that the other parties are not immune to bad stuff in one form or another…

The SocDem party leader, Mr. Rinne has been testing the waters with all the other parties and is now trying to form a government with the Center Party, the Greens, the Left and Swedish Folk Party. That would produce a 58% majority of seats in Parliament.

The Center Party lost a huge share of their former voter support thanks to the poor leadership by Mr. Sipilä and a few of his top ministers. The Transport Minister and the various Health Ministers have been particularly bad topics. After the election is was said that they want to join the opposition but no… here they are appearing to negotiate to join the government, a government that needs either the Center Party or the Conservatives to have a majority in Parliament. The present acting PM is Mr. Sipilä who will remain in place until a new government is formed. He is a lame duck PM who may be ejected from the party leadership next month – so what has he got to lose by appearing Trump-Like tough?

This makes negotiations sticky because the Center Party has nothing to lose by demanding more of their own policies to be included in the government’s manifesto! If the SocDems cannot accept them, then the SocDems are left with trying to work something out with the Conservatives.

Conventional wisdom says that you can never trust the Center Party – so watch out for extra sparks this coming 7 days.

The SocDems have already rejected overtures from the Conservative Party and it is virtually impossible to see them accepting to talk with the True Finns. If the SocDems formed a government with the Conservatives, then the other parties would be the Greens, the Swedish Folk Party, and the Christian Democrats. That would produce a 58% majority of seats in Parliament.

But as Bob Dylan used to sing “The times are a’changing”.

The most recent polls put the True Finns in the poll position, so none of the parties will be pushing for new elections just now, so possibly the Conservatives may be the next partners for the SocDems.

Graph from Statistics Finland

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