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HS: Marin government still popular, but support is waning

Just under half of those polled believe that PM Sanna Marin's government has succeeded fairly or very well in its duties.

While support for the cabinet led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is on the decline, it is still the most popular in the past decade. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

The popularity of the government led by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) is on the decline, according to an opinion poll conducted by Kantar TNS and published by the leading daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.

Slightly less than half, or 48 percent, of respondents now believe that the government has succeeded fairly or very well in its duties. As recently as a year and a half ago, the corresponding figure was 71 percent.

Marin’s government is still the most popular in the past decade. HS has surveyed Finnish governments one to three times a year since the autumn of 2011, and Marin’s government still managed to receive the fourth-best result in measurement history. The top three popularity results also go to Marin’s government.

The decline in the government's popularity is likely due to squabbling among the governing parties, the differences of opinion raised by the upcoming municipal elections and media exposure surrounding the prime minister. Marin’s much-discussed nightclub visit took place during the polling period.

Just over half, or 53 percent, of Finns think that Marin has succeeded very well or fairly well in her job. She is the most popular current cabinet minister, according to the poll. Marin's popularity, however, has clearly decreased since the summer of 2020, when her approval rating was 80 percent. One in four respondents now said that the premier has done a poor job.

The declining ratings of both the PM and her government can be attributed to a lack of approval from supporters of the main opposition parties, the National Coalition (NCP) and the Finns Party.

For example, 36 percent of NCP supporters now rate Marin's performance as quite or very good – down from 55 percent last summer.

Haavisto, Andersson next most popular

The second most popular minister in the poll is Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green). His popularity has recovered from a year ago, when just 22 percent thought he had done his job fairly well or very well. Now the corresponding figure has risen to 46 percent.

The third most popular minister in the survey is Education Minister Li Andersson (Left) whose work is considered good by 38 percent of respondents. Her popularity has declined, though, from 52 percent in mid-2020.

HS also looked at the approval rating of President Sauli Niinistö.

Niinistö garnered virtually no criticism for his performance, which centres on foreign policy: 87 percent think he has done a good job, and only two percent gave the president a bad grade.

Niinistö seems to be respected among all segments of the population, but especially among retired people and those with lower educational backgrounds.

The research material was collected through telephone interviews between 30 November and 11 December. Just over 1,000 adults in mainland Finland were interviewed. The pollster estimates the margin of error at plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.