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Poll: Niinistö, Marin best at pandemic communications

The president and prime minister gained top marks in a survey on coronavirus messaging.

Kuvassa on Sanna Marin ja etäyhteydellä osallistuva Sauli Niinistö.
Prime Minister Marin speaking at an event on the coronavirus crisis in April, with President Niinistö participating via video link. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) were ranked as best at providing information about the coronavirus pandemic in a new survey.

The poll was published on Saturday by the Foundation for Municipal Development (Kaks), an independent, non-profit think tank.

Niinistö received a rating of excellent or good from 69 percent of respondents, followed closely by Marin with 67 percent. She took office in December, just as reports of the new virus began to emerge, while Niinistö has been president since 2012.

Also receiving a generally positive rating were representatives of the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), with 61 percent saying their Covid-19 communications were good or excellent, and Marin’s cabinet as a whole (57 percent).

Lower ratings for media, unions, some ministers

Representatives of the media in general received a positive rating of 44 percent, though 20 percent of those surveyed said they have done poorly.

Nearly a third said that labour unions have been weak in coronavirus communications, with a similar share voicing a lack of trust in Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru (SDP). Just over a quarter voiced dissatisfaction with Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) and Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (SDP).

Supporters of the main government party, the SDP, tended to be more satisfied in general with coronavirus communications.

Finns Party voters sceptical

On the other hand, backers of one of the biggest opposition groups, the Finns Party, had generally less confidence in pandemic messaging. Supporters of the other main opposition party, the National Coalition (NCP), were particularly positive about Niinistö, who led the party from 1994 to 2001.

The survey was carried out by pollster Kantar TNS, which interviewed just over 1,000 people 11–16 September. The company says that the respondents represent the adult population of mainland Finland, and estimates the margin of error at just under three percent.

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