Finnish Election Shows Continued Rise of the Fringe Right

Finland’s incumbent prime minister, Sanna Marin, was defeated in the country’s parliamentary elections yesterday. The center-right National Coalition came in first with 20.8 percent of the vote, followed by Finns with 20.1 percent.

Staying power: The Finns’ success shows the appeal of the fringe right in Europe. The True Finns first rocketed into the big leagues in 2011, going from five seats in Finland’s 200-seat Parliament to 39. In 2015 they entered government, but in 2017 the party split. The moderates stayed in government while the more radical faction continued under the name Finns. It is this more radical split that achieved its best ever result.

The National Coalition will now have to decide whether to go into coalition with the center-left or with the Finns. Either way, they’ll need a handful more votes from smaller parties or independents to get a majority.

Rise of the fringe: This has been a major trend across all of Europe over the last 15 years, showing a widespread rejection of mainstream parties and even mainstream ways of doing politics. Watch for this growing anger to lead to a radical transformation of European politics.

Learn more: Read “European Politics Are in a Death Spiral.”