Poll: President Niinistö more popular than ever

New poll gives the incumbent president sky high approval ratings - but who might succeed him in 2024?

Election billboards in downtown Helsinki, January 2018 / Credit: News Now Finland

A new poll from Helsingin Sanomat newspaper on Christmas day finds that only a tiny number of Finns are dissatisfied with the president.

As many as 91% of Finns consider President Sauli Niinistö to have done an overall good job: made up of 51% who think he’s done a very good job; and 40% who said they think he’s done a good job in general.

Only 1% of people said they thought the president had done very badly in his job; while 6% said they thought he was not doing a good job in general.

Based on previous polls for the newspaper, this would be the highest set of approval ratings that Niinistö has received.

The former National Coalition Party MP is almost two years into his second six-year term in office and can’t run again at elections in 2024.

The latest survey was carried out by Kantar TNS which questioned 505 people between 2nd and 6th December.

Who would succeed Niinistö?

Although elections are still four years away, there’s been some recent public opinion polling about who would make a popular next President of the Republic.

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) topped an Ilta-Sanomat poll earlier this week with 17% popularity – that’s down from 27% last time the newspaper asked the question.

Haavisto has come twice, behind Sauli Niinistö, in the last two presidential elections. In the 2012 vote he forced a second round run-off; but in 2018 Niinistö won the first round outright. Recently Haavisto has been the focus of intense political and media criticism about the way he’s handled the al-Hol refugee case.

Other politicians who featured in the Ilta-Sanomat poll include Olli Rehn (Centre) at 10%; Li Andersson (Left) and Jutta Urpilainen (SDP) polling at 7% each.

The poll was carried out between 9th and 17th December with 1004 people responding. The margin of error is 3.2% in either direction.