Majorities in Germany and Spain and Pluralities in Italy and France Would Vote for Party Which Supports Their Country's Continued Membership in EU Britons more likely to vote for party which supports country's exit of EU than its continued membership

NEW YORK, May 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent 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. (Full results, including data tables, available here)

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.

Some other findings of this survey include:

  • 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; and
  • 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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This FT/Harris Poll was conducted online among a total of 5,206 adults aged 16-64 in France (1,000), Germany (1,022), Great Britain (1,030), Spain (1,021), and adults aged 18-64 in Italy (1,019), between April 23 and 28, 2014. Figures for age, sex, education, region and Internet usage were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls and the British Polling Council.

The Harris Poll® #47, May 13, 2014
By Regina A. Corso, VP, The Harris Poll and Public Relations

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll 
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll

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SOURCE The Harris Poll


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