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Why do certain ministers remain in their post for years while others have their time in office cut short? Drawing on the broader literature on portfolio allocation, this article argues that the saliency of individual portfolios shapes ministerial turnover. The main argument is that ministerial dismissals are less likely to occur the higher the saliency attributed to the ministerial portfolio since ministers appointed to important posts are more likely to have been through extensive screening before appointment. Importantly, it is also posited in the article that the effect of portfolio salience is conditioned by government approval ratings: when government ratings are on the decline, prime ministers are less likely to reshuffle or fire important ministers than when approval ratings are improving. To test these claims, Cox proportional hazards models are applied to a new dataset on ministerial turnover in Scandinavia during the postwar period. The results strongly support the proposition that portfolio saliency matters for ministerial survival, and that this effect is moderated by government popularity.