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HS poll: Support for Marin's handling of pandemic still high, but declining steadily

Support for the PM's actions was high when the pandemic hit in March 2020 but has dropped steadily in various polls.

Sanna Marin eduskunnassa.
PM Marin defended the EU coronavirus stimulus package in Parliament on Thursday. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Most people in Finland, 57 percent, are still satisfied with how Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey published by the leading daily Helsingin Sanomat on Sunday.

However, support has been steadily declining. The corresponding figure in similar HS polls was 63 percent in March and 66 percent in January.

This time 19 percent of respondents said they were very satisfied with Marin's coronavirus measures, with 38 percent quite satisfied.

While figures are still good by political standards, the number of dissatisfied people has been growing all the time.

Another 19 percent of respondents said they were not very satisfied with the premier while 15 percent said they were not satisfied at all.

Support down by more than 20 points in a year

In March 2020, as the pandemic began to take hold in Finland, 84 percent said they were either very or fairly satisfied with the prime minister. She took office in December 2019, just as reports of the new virus began to emerge from China.

Not surprisingly, Marin's strongest backing in the poll (58 percent) was among supporters of the Social Democratic Party, which she has led since last August.

She also got good marks from about 40 percent of supporters of two government parties, the Left Alliance and the Greens.

Backers of the main opposition parties, the Finns Party and the National Coalition Party (NCP) are more critical of Marin's coronavirus moves.

Nearly 80 percent of Finns Party backers expressed dissatisfaction with her, along with just over half of NCP supporters.

Just 16 percent of Finns Party supporters approve of Marin's actions, but the corresponding figure for NCP backers was much higher at 42 percent.

More support among older people

While Marin, 35, took office as Finland's – and the world's – youngest PM ever, she seems to have more support among older people.

Of those aged 70 and over, 67 percent said they are satisfied with Marin, along with 54 percent of those in their thirties. Most critical of Marin's actions were respondents in their forties, 40 percent of whom were dissatisfied.

Pollster Kantar TNS interviewed just over 1,000 adults between 7 and 13 May.

An Yle poll in December indicated that 82 percent of people in Finland were satisfied with Marin's handling of the pandemic. In a separate poll in September, two-thirds of respondents expressed approval of her communications regarding the pandemic.

Another Yle poll, a month later, ranked her as the most popular possible candidate for the 2024 presidential race.

Meanwhile the latest Yle party poll, released in early May, showed Marin's SDP holding steady as the third-most popular party with 18 percent support heading into next month's local elections.

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