Post-election survey 2019 – First results 

A significant increase in young people with a pro-European mind-set cast a vote in the 2019 European elections, according to a European Parliament’s in-depth Eurobarometer survey. Conducted in the weeks after the elections across all 28 Member States, nearly 28.000 citizens answered questions about their participation in the European elections and the issues that motivated them to vote.

Citizens’ support for the European Union remains at its highest level since 1983, as 68% of respondents say that their country has benefitted from being a member of the EU.

Even more significant for the democratic legitimacy of the EU is the steep increase in European citizens believing that ‘their voice counts in the EU’: 56% of respondents share this view, an increase of 7 points since March 2019 and the highest result since this question was first asked in 2002.

The overall turnout in the European elections 2019 increased by 8 points to 50,6%, resulting in the highest participation since 1994 and for the first time a reversal of turnout since 1979. It was Europe’s young and first time voters who drove turnout figures up: With 42% of the 16/18-24 year old citizens voting in the European elections, their participation rose by 50%, compared to the youth turnout of only 28% in 2014. Similarly strong was the 34% increase in the age group of 25-39 years, rising from 35% to 47%.

52% of voters said they voted in the European elections as they saw it as their civic duty, a plus of 11 points compared to 2014. Compared to the European elections 2014, significantly more citizens have also voted because they are in favour of the EU (25%, +11pp), or because they felt they could change things by voting (18%, +6pp). In 27 Member States, citizens primarily voted because they saw it as their duty as citizens, in all 28 Member States more respondents than in 2014 voted because they were in favour of the EU.

Looking at the issues that made citizens vote, the post-electoral survey shows that top issues which impacted on citizens’ voting decision were economy and growth (44%), climate change (37%) as well as human rights and democracy (37%). With 36% of mentions ‘the way the EU should be working in the future’ emerged also as top voting motivator for citizens.

 

A full report as well as all results and data tables will be published by the European Parliament in September 2019.