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Yle poll: High approval for handling of epidemic by president and PM

Nearly nine out of 10 respondents approve of the president’s handling of the crisis.

Valokuvaajalla hengityssuojain kasvoillaan hallituksen infossa 16. maaliskuuta.
A photographer wears a face mask at a government press conference in Helsinki. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto

An Yle survey carried out this week indicates that the vast majority of Finns are satisfied with how the president, the prime minister and the rest of the government have reacted to the unfolding coronavirus epidemic.

An Yle survey carried out in recent days indicates that the vast majority of Finns are satisfied with how the president, the prime minister and the rest of the government have reacted to the unfolding coronavirus epidemic.

According to results gathered by pollster Taloustutkimus, residents of Finland are most approving of the president and prime minister and most critical of how the political opposition has responded.

Women respondents tended to be most positive about how officials have handled the situation, as well as people over the age of 65.

President remains very popular

President Sauli Niinistö scored highest in the poll, with 89 percent of respondents saying his response has been quite or very good. Among senior citizens, approval of the 71-year-old Niinistö rose to 96 percent.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin was not far behind, with 85 percent saying she has done quite or extremely well during the crisis, which has dominated her term so far. At 34, Marin was the world’s youngest government leader when she took office in December.

There was a gender split though, with 91 percent of female respondents expressing satisfaction compared to 78 percent of men.

People over 65 were particularly satisfied, with 93 percent saying Marin has done quite or extremely well. Meanwhile 13 percent of respondents said she has done quite poorly or very poorly.

Eighty-two percent said that Marin’s cabinet has handled the situation well. Again the figure was higher among women, with 87 percent approval versus 77 percent among men. About one in six respondents said that government ministers have done quite or very poorly so far.

Nearly nine-tenths of senior citizens approved of the government’s actions. Most critical were people aged 35-49, of whom 21 percent expressed disapproval.

Meanwhile 62 percent of respondents said that the political opposition has responded quite or very well.

Yle rated higher than THL

Three quarters of respondents said that public health officials, including the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) had handled the situation quite or extremely well – a significantly lower approval rating than for the government leaders.

About a third of individuals aged 25-49 said that the THL has done quite poorly or very poorly. Senior citizens had much more confidence in healthcare officials.

Respondents were also asked to evaluate how the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) has responded to the situation. Nearly nine-tenths were satisfied, with 39 percent of respondents saying it had done a very good job.

Taloustutkimus questioned just over 1,800 people on 24-25 March via an internet panel. The company says the margin of error is about two percentage points.

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