HELSINKI (Reuters) - Smaller-than-expected gains for Geert Wilder’s anti-Islam party in the Dutch election show that a political group must have a broad agenda to succeed, Finland’s eurosceptic foreign minister Timo Soini said on Monday.
“It shows how far a party with a narrow agenda can reach in an election... One should define a stance for fiscal policy, education policy, foreign policy and so forth. One must be a general party to succeed in election,” Soini told reporters.
Soini helped his moderate nationalist Finns party become the second-largest party in parliament and enter government in 2015 by distancing the party from Europe’s far-right groups.
But compromises in government have angered voters, and the party now ranks fifth in the polls with support of about 9 percent.
Soini is due to step down from the party leadership in June in a move that may bring down the three-party government, and steer the Finns party deeper into right-wing populism.
Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Dominic Evans