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Survey shows little confidence in Orpo cabinet – or the opposition

Confidence in the ability of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo's NCP-led government to remain in office for its full term is significantly lower than it was for other recent cabinets.

PM Orpo in a dark suit and tie stands behind a podium, flanked by three women ministers, all wearing blazers, and all looking in different directions.
The leaders of the four government parties met for budget talks on 19 September. From left: Agriculture Minister Sari Essayah (CD), Finance Minister Riikka Purra (Finns), PM Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Education Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson (SPP). Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

People in Finland are sceptical of both the government's ability to manage the country's affairs and the opposition's ability to offer alternatives.

In a survey commissioned by the Foundation for Municipal Development (Kaks), almost half of the respondents expect the right-wing government led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo (NCP) to collapse before the next parliamentary elections in 2027. That’s significantly higher than in similar surveys for other recent governments.

Less than one third believe that the cabinet will remain in power throughout the four-year legislative period.

Meanwhile more than two-thirds of backers of opposition parties assume that the government will fall before 2027. And nearly 40 percent of those polled said they hope the government will dissolve as soon as possible.

The government has been in office for just over three months, a period marked by scandals over far-right comments by ministers from the nationalist Finns Party, the second largest in the four-party coalition, as well as outrage from the labour movement about planned rollbacks of worker protections.

In a survey published on Saturday, 48 percent of respondents rated the government's ability to manage the country's affairs as fairly poor or very poor. Meanwhile 29 percent said that the cabinet’s ability to do so is moderately good or excellent. Almost a fifth were neutral on the issue.

Confidence in the Orpo government is lower than it was at the corresponding point in the last two governments, that led by Centre Party PM Juha Sipilä beginning in 2015 and the one launched by SDP premier Antti Rinne in 2019.

Both cabinets served full four-year terms, although Rinne was replaced as PM later that year by SDP colleague Sanna Marin.

Attitudes towards opposition unchanged since 2019

Support for the government is highest among backers of the pro-business National Coalition Party (NCP), with 70 percent expressing faith in the Orpo administration. That is followed by supporters of the Finns Party, with 60 percent voicing confidence in it.

More than three quarters of opposition party supporters rate the government's ability to manage the country's affairs is very or fairly poor.

Overall, respondents were split over whether the opposition can offer viable alternatives, with 38 percent saying no and 31 percent saying yes.

However, there was generally more faith in the abilities of the opposition than those of the government. Attitudes towards the opposition have not changed much since 2019, when the previous government took office, says Kaks.

Those with the strongest faith in the opposition are supporters of the Left Alliance (74%), the SDP (69%) and the Greens (64%).

The latest monthly Yle poll showed the governing NCP and the opposition SDP in a virtual tie as the most popular party. The SDP's backing slipped by 1.4 percent from the previous month, while the NCP gained an equivalent amount of support as Marin announced her departure from domestic politics.

Kaks is an independent non-profit think tank, established in Helsinki in 1990.

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