The populist True Finns party lead by Timo Soini made history on Sunday by gaining 34 seats in the Finnish parliamentary election. Their vote rose by 15 percentage points compared with the last election in 2007. Their anti-bailout attitude has made Portugal somewhat nervous.
Timo Soini received more votes than any other candidate. He has been the chairman of True Finns since 1997. So who is this guy?
Well, he’s sort of a mixed bag like his party.
Soini is a EU-skeptic but the first True Finn to become a member of European Parliament. In the 2009 election he won a seat in the European Parliament with Finland’s highest personal vote share, which was nearly 10 percent of all votes.
He is probably the best known Finnish member of the Roman Catholic church. There’s only 10 000 Roman Catholics in Finland. Most of the finns, 78,2 percent or 4.2 million, are Evangelical Lutherans.
Soini has been fan of English football club Millwall FC since 1976. He wears their scarf ordinarily. There isn’t any Finnish sports team he would support with such devotion.
He wrote his master’s thesis on the populism in politics. Later he mastered populism in practice. He is skilled in summing up his message. He regularly shoots off one-liners that circulate in the media. He is often sited to be able to talk in language people understand unlike most Finnish politicians. His frankness is probably the cornerstone of his success.
More on the True Finns in a recent post by slow-news-day.net.