Image is nothing

Kampanja magazine asked (fi) marketing professionals which politicians and parties have the best and worst images.

Out of a list of ten politicians, Speaker Sauli Niinistö (National Coalition Party) had the best numbers; 46 percent of respondents said he had the best image and 0.6 percent said he had the worst. Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva (Coalition) came second (+15%, -0.4%). At the other end of the list we find Social Democratic Party chair Eero Heinäluoma (+6%, -45%) and Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen (Coalition) (+5%, -27%). The results suggest Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre Party) is a bit bland (+9.5%, -10%), so no surprises there. The rest didn't get many mentions either way.

Of the parties, the Coalition scored high both for the best image (33%) and the worst (31%). The Centre (+21%, -9.5%), the Greens (+14%, -2.7%), the Swedish People's Party (+8.7%, -0.5%), and the True Finns (+8.5%, -3.1%) scored positive results. The Social Democrats (+11%, -41%) and the Left Alliance (+1.7%, -10%) didn't do so hot. The Christian Democrats barely rated (+2%, -1.7%).

The survey format could have been better, e.g. by asking the respondents for ratings instead of just requesting them to name their top and bottom picks. Now we only see the very ends of the scale. As it is, the main conclusion I draw from the results is that losing an election is really bad for your image - see numbers for Heinäluoma, the Social Democrats, and the Left.

Finally, the survey also asked which politician would make the best Santa Claus. Foreign Trade Minister Paavo Väyrynen (Centre) of course won with a fifth of the vote.

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