62% uninterested in upcoming European Parliament elections

62% uninterested in upcoming European Parliament elections

PanARMENIAN.Net - Six out of 10 Europeans are "not that interested" in the European Parliament elections later this month, according to a poll released on Thursday, May 8, despite huge efforts by campaign managers to make the ballot more relevant, according to Reuters.

The survey of nearly 9,000 people in 12 EU countries found 62 percent were either "not at all" or "not so much" interested in the May 22-25 vote, which will decide the leadership of the European Union for the next five years.

Only 35 percent of respondents said they would definitely vote, substantially below the 43 percent average turnout at the last election in 2009.

The greatest enthusiasm was registered in Belgium (53 percent), where voting is required by law, followed by France (44 percent) and the Netherlands (41 percent). The lowest was in Britain (27 percent) and Poland (20 percent).

Far-right groups are expected to do well or even win the elections in both France and the Netherlands, potentially making them a powerful force in the next European Parliament. The right-wing UKIP party is also expected to do well in Britain.

The survey also provided some interesting views on Europe's leaders. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was the most recognizable and has the highest approval rating, with 51 percent either "very positive" or "fairly positive" about her.

Britain's David Cameron came second, with 35 percent of those surveyed broadly positive. The least popular was French President Francois Hollande, with only a 20 percent positive rating and 32 percent negative - the highest negative score of any European leader by far.

The elections will not only decide the 751 deputies who will sit in the European Parliament from 2014-2019, but more than likely determine who leads the European Commission, the EU executive that holds the right to propose legislation.

Europe's main political groups - the center-left Socialists, the center-right EPP and the Liberals - have each nominated a top candidate for the Commission and hope that if they win, their candidate will become the next Commission president.

But in a worrying sign for all three campaigns, which have worked hard to boost the visibility of their candidates over the past two months, the survey showed more than 60 percent of people do not know who any of the candidates are.

The survey was conducted by Ipsos-MORI during April. A total of 8,833 people were polled in Belgium, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

 Top stories
In a statement, the court acknowledged that Hamas contests its inclusion on the list, maintained since it was created in 2001.
“We’ve never seen so many journalists held captive — for ransom or other reasons — by nonstate actors,” Robert Mahoney said.
The raids and arrests "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy," a statement said.
“We are going beyond the banalities taught to us for 200 years. We are finally asking the right questions,” the president said.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.