Ex-Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke at the Global Progress Action Summit in Montreal, Canada, on 16 September 2023. Marin’s assessment that she could be able to better serve Finnish voters at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the London-based political consultancy that appointed her as a strategic advisor in September, has received little support from the Finnish public, indicates a survey commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat. (Minas Panagiotakis – AFP / Lehtikuva)


THE MAJORITY of Finns disagree with Sanna Marin (SDP) about her ability to serve voters as a strategic advisor at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, reveals a survey commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat.

The former prime minister took up the role after being relieved of her duties as a Member of Finnish Parliament in September.

The second-highest vote getter in the parliamentary elections held in Finland in April, Marin estimated when announcing she has asked to be relieved of her duties that she could be better able to serve voters in her new role with the political consultancy based in London.

“I personally see that I’ll be able to serve both the people who voted for me and Finland well and possibly even better in this new position. Hopefully I can be a visible representative of this country outside Finland,” she commented at a news conference in the Parliament House on 7 September.

Helsingin Sanomat on Friday reported that 54 per cent of the public disagree and only 18 per cent agree with her estimate. A little over a quarter (28%) of the survey respondents had no opinion on the issue.

Supporters of the Social Democrats found her estimate the most agreeable, with a third of them agreeing that she may be able to better serve voters in Finland at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. A third of the supporters disagreed with the estimate, while the final third had no opinion on the issue.

Marin led the Social Democrats from 2020 to 2023.

Her estimate was found agreeable by only about a tenth of supporters of the Finns Party and National Coalition.

Marin almost doubled her votes in the parliamentary elections – from nearly 19,100 in 2019 to over 35,500 in 2023 – after serving as prime minister for three-and-a-half years shaped by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. On election night, she dismissed speculation that she could transition to an international role, assuring that she is fully committed to her work as an ordinary lawmaker.

The Social Democrats lost to both the National Coalition and the Finns Party – the two largest parties in the ruling right-wing coalition – and is presently the largest opposition party in parliament.

Altogether 1,017 people responded online to the survey conducted by Kantar Public on 6–12 October. The results have a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT