Select Page

The importance of voting

Anti-EU and extreme right forces have made strong showings in recent elections and the next EP elections are likely to reflect that trend. A lot will depend on whether moderate and progressive voters can be mobilised to vote in the elections as it is far-right and anti-EU groups that gain from low voter turn-out.

At the last European elections, voter turnout was only 42.6 percent, the lowest it has been since 1979 when it was first directly elected. Right-wing populist parties increased their vote share from around 15% in 2009 to 20% in 2014. In six countries (Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic) voter turn-out was under 30% and only in eight countries (Malta, Sweden, Greece, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Denmark and Belgium) was voter turn-out over 50%. Recent polls suggest that it is possible to interest people in the elections and mobilise them to vote. According to a May 2018 Eurobarometer Survey, 31% of the respondents said they were very likely to vote in the European Parliament elections, 18% said they were likely and 15% they were moderately likely to vote.