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Eva poll: Confidence in politicians risen since pandemic years

Trust in the information politicians provide to the public has improved by 26 percentage points from last autumn, according to a fresh survey by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva).

Just over half of respondents said they found the information politicians provide to citizens to be reliable. Image: Ilkka Klemola / Yle

The majority of people in Finland are satisfied with the way power is distributed in the country, with the handling of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine boosting peoples’ trust in politicians, according to a fresh poll by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva).

The survey results, published Tuesday, indicate that attitudes toward politicians improved during the pandemic.

According to the think tank, trust in decision-makers often increases during a crisis due to the "rally 'round the flag" effect.

While trust in politicians decreased after the most acute phase of the Covid crisis subsided, it rose again when Russia attacked Ukraine.

From last autumn to this spring, trust in the information politicians provide to the public improved by 26 percentage points - an exceptionally large increase, according to Eva.

Satisfaction with power structures

Overall, those surveyed reported being satisfied with the structure of power in Finnish society.

Politicians, civil servants, government officials, local governments, lawmakers, the judiciary, and police were deemed to have a reasonable degree of power, according to a majority of the respondents.

Political institutions were also largely seen as having adequate power. Finland's government is perceived as having appropriate power by 81 percent, the Parliament by 85 percent, political parties by 69 percent and local government decision-makers by 79 percent.

Most of those surveyed said that social media, international technology giants and big business have too much power in society.

Majority regard politicians as reliable sources of information

Fifty-one percent of people in Finland reported that they found the information politicians provide to citizens to be reliable. Meanwhile, 28 percent said they found it difficult to say, while the rest disagreed.

Survey results indicate that information provided by politicians is generally more trusted by highly educated people.

However, less confidence was reported by 39 percent of managers, 34 percent of entrepreneurs, 42 percent of pensioners and 36 percent of the unemployed.

Supporters of the opposition Finns Party stood out as having a particularly low level of trust in information provided by politicians, with 64 percent reporting a lack of trust.

Functioning democracy

According to 40 percent of respondents, democracy works so well in Finland that talking about the lack of citizen influence was unfounded. Nonetheless, 43 percent expressed doubts about the functioning of democracy in the country.

However, when taken into account the historical context of views, the result can be regarded as good, according to Eva. In previous decades, only a quarter or even less of those surveyed estimated that democracy in Finland worked well.

Just over 2,000 people responded to the think tank's survey in March. The margin of error is 2-3 percentage points.

Eva is bankrolled by the main employers' groups including the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).

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