The nationalist, anti-mass migration Finns Party performed strongly in yesterday’s parliamentary election in Finland, narrowly missing out on being the most popular party in the country.
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Preliminary results show that the Finns Party received 538,731 votes, narrowly behind the Social Democratic Party who won with 545,544.
Remarkably, the party had split in 2017 after a leadership election, making the strong performance even more impressive.
When the Social Democrats Leader Antti Rinne was asked if he would go into coalition with the Finns, he said: “I have not closed out the Finns Party. I have said that if we’re the first party, we are going to ask all parties the same questions.”
Finns Party Chairman, Jussi Halla-aho, received the most votes of any candidate in the country. He won more than 30,000 whilst the Leader of the Social Democrats secured 12,000.
Afterwards, Halla-aho said: “I certainly could never have expected a result like this. Honestly speaking, none of us expected this kind of result.”
As Reuters report, Halla-aho “emerged as Finland’s most popular politician on Sunday” despite having previously been fined for comments on Islam and migrants.
The Finns Party recently attended a meeting hosted by Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini as Eurosceptic forces rise across the continent ahead of the European Elections in next month.