Poll: Stubb most popular minister, lukewarm enthusiasm for opposition leaders
Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb (Nat. Coalition Party) says that he is “humble and grateful” for the high marks that he got from respondents to a recent poll.
In the poll commissioned by Helsingin Sanomat and conducted by TNS Gallup, respondents were asked to evaluate the performance of government ministers as well as the leaders of the two opposition parties by giving them grades according to the scale used in report cards in Finnish schools. In the 4 – 10 scale, 10 is the highest grade and 4 constitutes a failure.
Stubb topped the list with a “satisfactory” grade of 7.4.
The two opposition party leaders, the Finns Party’s Timo Soini and the Centre Party’s former chairwoman Mari Kiviniemi got fairly low marks, with Soini getting 6.6 and Kiviniemi getting 6.5.
However, the two were appreciated by those identifying themselves with their parties – Soini got an average 8.0 from his own supporters, against 7.1 for Kiviniemi.
Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (Nat. Coalition Party), who got an average 7.4, did not want to speculate on the reasons for his popularity.
Minister of Social Affairs and Health Paula Risikko (Nat. Coalition Party) said that she was “humbly grateful” for her 7.0 average.
“There is great need and little money. That is the challenge in the work of the Minister of Social Affairs and Health”, Risikko said.
The lowest grade for a minister of the National Coalition Party was 6.6 for Minister for Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen (Nat. Coalition Party).
“My job has been to advance the municipal reform, and I don’t know if this critical view comes from the fact that I am promoting this reform, or from the perception that I have not done it fast enough”, Virkkunen said.
Also scoring low was Minister of Social Services Maria Guzenina-Richardson (SDP). She had no comment on her average grade of 6.4.
Another low scorer was Minister of the Interior Päivi Räsänen (Christ. Dem.), whose fairly poor number was attributable partly to faulty dissemination of information. Räsänen said that misunderstandings about cuts affecting police had led to a sense of insecurity among the people.
Doing perhaps surprisingly well was Minister of Sport and Culture Paavo Arhinmäki, whose 7.3 put him among the top three even though he represents a small party.
Arhinmäki got high marks from supporters of all parties except the Finns Party. Green League supporters were even more pleased with Arhinmäki’s performance than the supporters of his own party were.