The Covid-19 Crisis had an Exceptional Impact on Finnish Political Views

Nine out of ten (89%) Finns give their full support to the Government’s actions during the COVID-19 crisis, indicates the Values and Attitudes Survey of Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA.

How the survey was conducted

The results are based on responses provided by 2060 persons in Finland. The margin of error of the results, at the level of the entire population, amounts to 2–3 percentage points in either direction. The data was gathered between 26 March and 3 April 2020. The respondents represented the population of the entire country in the age bracket of 18 through 70. The data was gathered via the Taloustutkimus internet panel and weighted to represent the population based on age, gender, place of residence, education, profession or position, industry and political party affiliation. EVA’s Values and Attitudes Surveys has been conducted since 1984.

EVA conducted a survey on how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted on the trust Finns feel on 30 different institutions or actors influential in society. 60 per cent of Finns state that they trust the Government and a majority (52%) also trusts the Parliament. Trust in the Government has increased 33 percentage points compared to survey made in 2018. Trust in the Parliament has increased 17 percentage points. These are the biggest shifts in trust in the survey.

“The observed shift in attitudes cannot be explained by customary fluctuations. This, in turn, speaks of an exceptional consensus among citizens to ward off the common threat posed by COVID-19. This is a case of the so-called rally ’round the flag effect”, says Ilkka Haavisto, Head of Research at Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA.

The American political scientist John Mueller defined the rally ’round the flag effect in his research in the 1970s. According to Mueller, the popularity of the President of the United States has increased in times of crisis. Signs of the effect have now been observed in many countries in connection with the COVID-19 crisis.