‘Socially precarious’ voters more inclined to vote for populists, poll says

Written by Martin Banks on 5 April 2019 in News
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Voters who are described as “socially precarious” are “fundamentally” more inclined to sympathise with right-wing populist and national-conservative parties in the upcoming European elections, according to a new opinion poll.

Photo Credit: Press Association


People from this category are, it is claimed, more likely to vote for parties such as the Lega in Italy, the Rassemblement National (formerly Front National) in France or the AfD in Germany.

However, what are called “economically precarious citizens” are, by contrast, more likely to be drawn to left-wing parties such as Die Linke in Germany or the movement led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, La France insoumise, in France.

The authors of the survey say that “confident citizens, on the contrary, frequently express their support for parties in the political middle.”


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They are more likely than the “economically and socially precarious” to consider climate change a central issue, it is argued.

Those are among the conclusions drawn by the authors of “eupinions”, an EU-wide opinion poll that German think tank Bertelsmann Stiftung conducted to learn about Europeans’ view of current issues.

Many expect candidates from so-called populist and nationalist parties to fare well in the elections, which have been called one of the most significant since the first direct elections were held back in 1979.

The survey, one of several currently being published, comes just ahead of the keenly-awaited European elections in May.

“The tremendous interest in going to vote is fundamentally encouraging and shows that Europe takes it seriously” Isabell Hoffmann, manager of the eupinions project

The opinion poll claims to be representative of the EU and its largest Member States: Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Poland. Over 11,000 people were surveyed throughout Europe.

Irrespective of “social or economic precariousness”, a majority of Europeans said they will vote for candidates for the European Parliament this May.

It said that 65 percent of the “socially precarious” and 68 percent of the so-called “confident citizenry” intend to go to the polls between 23-26 May.

Isabell Hoffmann, manager of the eupinions project, said these results were an “interesting finding” of the survey.

She said, “The tremendous interest in going to vote is fundamentally encouraging and shows that Europe takes it seriously. But only on May 26 will we see which camp can mobilise better and will set the tone in Brussels in the future.”

Europeans are in agreement on one thing, however: roughly two-thirds of all citizens want to take part in the elections.

In Germany, the optimists outnumber the pessimists, according to the opinion poll: 62 percent of Germans are not worried about the state of society, which is the highest amount in a large EU country.

When asked about their assessment of the economy, society and the EU at present, Europeans., it says, frequently fall into two camps: the confident optimists (49 percent) who are largely satisfied with the state of society and the precarious pessimists (51 percent) who are inclined to be dissatisfied and critical.

About the author

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at The Parliament Magazine

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