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Tuesday’s papers: Finns Party top poll, Lapland’s unemployed, and a Finnish Fortnite winner

Surge in support for populists as coalition slips, job hunting up north, and a Tampere student wins at gamer World Cup.

Jussi Halla-aho
The Finns Party, led by Jussi-Halla-aho, enjoys a clear lead in the latest HS poll. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

Main daily Helsingin Sanomat reports on the continued increase in support for the Finns Party, as the latest poll of voters reveals that 20.7 percent of Finns would vote for the populist party. This represents a 1.5 percentage-point increase in support since the last survey in June, and firmly cements Jussi Halla-aho’s party’s position as the most popular political party in Finland, the paper writes.

According to HS, support for the Finns stood at just 7.8 percent one year ago, meaning the party has managed to more than double its popularity over the course of the last 12 months.

HS quotes Sakari Nurmela, research head at pollster TNS Kantar, as saying that such a rise is unprecedented in recent Finnish political history, but Nurmela appeared cautious about the future outlook for the Finns Party.

"A rapid rise has previously been followed by a decline in support. It will be interesting to see in which direction their support develops this time.”

The paper also reports on a slight dip in backing for the government coalition led by current Prime Minister Antti Rinne, which now stands at 55.3 percent, down from 56.1 percent one month ago.

Commuting for work in Lapland

Lapland daily Lapin Kansa reports on the job situation in the northern territory, where the number of unemployed jobseekers stands at 12 percent, almost twice the national average. According to the paper however, the unemployment rate is falling and there are plenty of jobs available - as long as people are prepared to travel.

"Lapland is going through a good phase. Unemployment is falling in municipalities and long-term unemployment has also declined. The labour market is driving forward," the paper quotes Tiina Keränen, the manager of the local public employment TE-offices, as saying.

Keränen cites the number of open positions currently available to jobseekers in Lapland as evidence of the turning tide. Over 1,700 new job openings were created during the month of June, and a further 1,200 were added to the government job search website in July.

While jobs may be available, their location may present a challenge, according to Lapin Kansa. Like many others in her profession in Lapland, local teacher Marika Kumpula says she has to commute long distances to work. Kumpula will soon take up a post in Kemijärvi, a two-hour round trip from her home in Rovaniemi, but is positive about the commuting life.

"Teaching different schools provides an insight into different ways of working," she tells the paper. "I like smaller communities, because the schools are more communal."

"Dream come true" for Tampere student

Tabloid Iltalehti reports on the success of a Finnish video game player at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup, played over the past weekend at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Lassi "Belaeu" Kallio represented Helsinki Reds, the e-sports wing of the HIFK sporting outfit, and walked away from the tournament with a cool 100,000 US dollars in his pocket after just six hours of game-playing. The 22-year-old psychology student told IL that playing in the Fortnite World Cup was a "dream come true" but that his success is down to dedication and hard work.

"Professionals need to be good at everything. In professional gaming, there is a big emphasis on the mechanics of playing, but also combining it with smart, planned techniques at the same time," Kallio told the tabloid.

Kallio is the latest in a string of professional Finnish video game players to achieve success on the world stage, as the popularity of e-sports continues to flourish in Finland.

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