Finland: Big gains for True Finns

Finland: Big gains for True Finns


A nationalist euroskeptic party has made big gains in Finland's general election, potentially complicating Europe's plans to rescue debt-ridden economies.

The True Finns party won nearly a fifth of the vote in the poll on April 17 -- more than quadrupling its current share -- giving it 39 seats in the 200-seat parliament.

That puts them behind the Social Democrats with 42 seats and the center-right National Coalition in first place with 44 seats.


Finland is the latest EU country to see mainstream parties losing ground to far-right politicians and parties with anti-immigrant and antieuro ideologies.

Although Finland has relatively few immigrants, the True Finns party unveiled a manifesto at the end of February with an anti-immigrant tone, according to Jan Sundberg, a professor of political science at the University of Helsinki.

Sundberg says it denounced immigration as not solving labor shortages, and suggested instead that Finnish women should give birth to more children.

"They don't approve of immigration at all," he says.