right-wing populist party in Finland
The Finns Party, formerly known in English as the True Finns (Finnish: Perussuomalaiset, PS, Swedish: Sannfinländarna, Sannf.), is a Finnish right-wing populist political party. It was founded in 1995 following the dissolution of the Finnish Rural Party.
In the 2011 parliamentary election, the party won 19.1% of votes, becoming the third largest party in the Finnish Parliament. In the 2015 election the party got 17.7% of the votes, making it the parliament's second-largest party. The party was in opposition for the first 20 years of its existence. In 2015 it joined the government coalition formed by Prime Minister Sipilä. Following a 2017 split, over half of the party's MPs left the parliamentary group and were subsequently expelled from their party membership. This defector group, New Alternative (later renamed as Blue Reform), continued to support the government coalition, while the Finns Party went into opposition. It increased its representation from 38 to 39 seats in the 2019 parliament election.
The party combines left-wing economic policies with conservative social values, socio-cultural authoritarianism, and ethnic nationalism. Several researchers have described the party as fiscally centre-left, socially conservative, a "centre-based populist party" or the "most left-wing of the non-socialist parties", whereas other scholars have described them as radically right-wing populist. In the parliament seating order, the party was seated in the centre of the plenary until 2019 when they were moved to the right of the plenary despite their opposition to the move. The party's supporters have described themselves as centrists. The party has drawn people from left-wing parties but central aspects of their manifesto have gained support from right-wing voters as well. The Finns Party has been compared by international media to the other Nordic populist parties and other similar nationalist and right-wing populist movements in Europe that share Euroscepticism and are critical of Islam, whilst noting its strong support for the Finnish welfare state.
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