Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s (Centre) statements are deemed trustworthy by only 24 per cent of Finns, finds a survey commissioned by Alma Media.
Touko Aalto, the chairperson of the Green League, Jussi Halla-aho, the chairperson of the Finns Party, and Sampo Terho, the chairperson of the Blue Reform, similarly have a hard time getting their messages across to the public, according to the survey.
Aalto was considered trustworthy by 18 per cent, Halla-aho by 22 per cent and Terho by 25 per cent of the 1,500 respondents surveyed by Tietoykkönen between 12 and 17 September 2018. The respondents were asked to select any number of the chairpersons of the eight largest political parties whose statements they would be inclined to trust.
Sipilä was asked about the apparent lack of public confidence in him in a debate event organised by Alma Media on Wednesday. He responded by drawing attention to the responsibility shouldered by his government.
“I knew that I’d face decisions that aren’t pleasant as prime minister. I knew that support for the party and for me personally would take a hit,” he stated.
“I knew all of that from the onset but thought that we have to do what has to be done.”
Sipilä also questioned the popular saying that while politicians know the decisions that need to be made, they do not know how to secure re-election if they make those decisions, viewing that the saying does not apply to Finland.
“That’s something I’ll be testing [in the parliamentary elections],” he asserted.
The survey was topped by Sari Essayah of the Christian Democrats (58%), Li Andersson of the Left Alliance (48%) and Anna-Maja Henriksson of the Swedish People’s Party (47%).
Jenni Karimäki, a senior researcher at the Centre for Parliamentary Studies of the University of Turku, attributes the public’s inclination to trust the three opposition leaders to the fact that they have received relatively little negative publicity in comparison to ruling party leaders.
“Ruling party leaders have to justify their unpopular decisions much more often and they are challenged in public to explain why they did something or didn’t take something into consideration. When opposition leaders receive publicity, they typically get to voice their own opinion on a particular issue but they aren’t challenged in the same way,” explained Karimäki. “That creates the image that you can take their word for it.”
Petteri Orpo of the National Coalition and Antti Rinne of the Social Democrats were both considered trustworthy by 40 per cent of the respondents.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi