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All Points North #67: Grading Antti Rinne's first 150 days in office

Can the five-party coalition fulfil pledges of more jobs, concrete climate action and a reinforced social welfare state?

Audio: Yle News

Prime Minister Antti Rinne's Social Democratic Party may be feeling the effects of a global trend in which voters are deserting traditional socialist and conservative parties in favour of smaller and newer green or nationalist political bodies. That's according to political journalist Robert Sundman, who commented on Yle's latest voter approval poll showing the SDP in fourth place, well behind the opposition Finns Party, which has steadily been firing up voter enthusiasm.

Helmiina Suhonen, Sundman's co-host on the Yle political podcast Yes, no, abstain, absent (Jaa, ei, tyhjiä, poissa) pointed out that Jussi Halla-aho's Finns Party doesn't have to do much to win favour while in opposition. Sundman noted that the nationalist party may even be acting as a protest channel for SDP voters who are dissatisfied with the current government.

Suhonen noted that while the new administration has been slow in setting out a clear roadmap for achieving ambitious employment and climate action goals, it has held together well and there have been no major crises.

She gave the government a respectable grade of seven out of a possible 10 for its performance so far. Citing little to go on, Sundman sat out the vote and abstained.

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The All Points North podcast is a weekly look at what's going on in Finland. Subscribe via iTunes (and leave a review!), listen on Spotify and Yle Areena or find it on your favourite podcatching app or via our RSS feed.

This week's show was presented by Denise Wall and our producer was Priya Ramachandran D'souza. Our sound designer was Laura Koso.

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