ÖGfE survey: Austrians consider EU elections important, few are aware of European lead candidates

A majority of Austrians consider the forthcoming European elections important. At the same time, the European top candidates have to struggle with low visibility. These are the findings of a recent survey by the Austrian Society for European Politics (ÖGfE). 18 percent of respondents would like to see Manfred Weber (nominated by the European People’s Party) as the next EU Commission President. 16 percent argue for Frans Timmermans (European Social Democrats). By contrast, a majority of the respondents are not enthusiastic about either candidate (19 percent), four out of ten say that they do not know the two candidates (39 percent). (9 percent answer “do not know / no answer”).

For one quarter of respondents (23 percent) the system of European lead candidates is an additional motivation to participate in the European elections). For a total of 53 percent this is does not affect their motivation to cast their vote. 23 percent have not heard about the system of European lead candidates yet – five years ago this number was significantly lower (10 percent).

Almost three out of four respondents say that the European Elections are important to them (26 percent: “very important” | 46 percent: “rather important”). 22 percent disagree (18 percent: “rather not important” | 4 percent: “not important at all”). 7 percent do not take a position.

The current survey was conducted from 2 to 9 May 2019 by the Sozialwissenschaftliche Studiengesellschaft (SWS) on behalf of ÖGfE (Tel SWS 282). 528 persons were questioned via telephone (Austrian population from the age of 16 / weighted according to gender, age and education). Maximum margin of fluctuation approx. +/- 4.3 percent. Difference to 100 percent due to rounded values. Comparative surveys: SWS