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Europeans still trust EU

EuropeA Financial Times/Harris Poll in the five largest European countries looks at the upcoming elections in the European Union as well as the attitudes towards jobs and the economy in each of these countries.

Later this month the next European election will be held and over half of adults in Germany (55%) and Italy (52%), half of French adults (50%), just under half of adults in Great Britain (48%) and 43% of Spaniards say they will definitely vote in the elections. While around or just over one in ten in Germany (10%), France (11%), Italy (14%) and Great Britain (14%) say they are eligible but will not vote in the upcoming elections, 17% of adults in Spain say the same.

These are some of the findings of a Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted online among 5,206 adults aged 16-64 in France (1,000), Germany (1,022), Great Britain (1,030) and Spain (1,021), and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (1,019), between April 23 and 28, 2014.

Among those eligible to vote, almost three in five in Germany (58%) and Spain (57%) say they will be most inclined to vote for a party that supports their country's membership of the EU while 15% and 16% of eligible voters in Germany and Spain say they would be most inclined to vote for a party which supports their country's exit of the EU.

In Italy, just under half (46%) would be most inclined to vote for a party which supports their membership in the EU, while one in five (21%) would vote for the party that supports their exit and one-third (34%) are not sure.

It is similar in France, where 43% would vote for the party that supports the continued membership in the EU, 22% would vote for the party which supports France's exit of the EU and 35% are not sure. Great Britain has different feelings on this. Over one-third of Britons (36%) would vote for a party that supports Great Britain's exit of the EU, three in ten (29%) would vote for a party that supports the country's membership in the EU and over one-third (35%) are not sure.

Looking at the relevance of the European Parliament, majorities in France (70%), Germany (60%), Great Britain (60%), Italy (58%), and Spain (57%) all say it has neither more nor less relevance than it did at the last European election in 2009. Those in Great Britain and France are more likely to say that it has less relevance than more relevance (21% vs. 20% and 21% vs. 10%), while those in Germany, Spain and Italy are more likely to say it has more relevance than less relevance (27% vs. 12%, 27% vs. 15%, and 24% vs. 18%).

Compared to 12 months ago, three in five French adults (61%) and over half of Italians (56%) say the economic situation in their country is worse. Just under half of adults in Germany (47%) say it is neither better nor worse, while 28% say it is better and 26% say the economy is worse. In Spain, just over two in five adults (43%) say the economy is neither better nor worse than 12 months ago, while one-third (34%) say it is worse and 23% believe it is better. Just under two in five Britons (38%) say the economy is neither better nor worse, while one-third (32%) say it is better and three in ten (30%) say it is worse.

Two-thirds of employed Spaniards (65%), around three in five employed Italian (62%) and French (58%) adults, and over half of employed British adults (53%) all say they do not feel any more secure in their job than they did 12 months ago. Germans who are employed are a little more divided, as just over half (51%) say they are feeling more secure while 49% are not. But that security is not strong, as only one in five (18%) say they definitely feel more secure while one-third (32%) say they feel somewhat more secure.




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