The European Elections 2019 marked an historic moment not only for the record high turnout (50,6%, resulting in the highest participation since 1994 and for the first time a reversal of turnout since 1979 with an increase of 8% points from 2014), but also for the force that drove up the results: youth and first-time voters.
With 42% of the 16/18-24 years 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%.
It is interesting to notice also that the students represent the socio-professional category with the highest increase in turnout compared to 2014: +14 percentage points, rising to 51% from the 37% of 2014.
In the majority of the countries we also see an increase in people believe that their voice counts in the EU, with the exceptions of Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, France, and Bulgaria. Generally, this figure raise by 7 percentage points average in the EU28, reaching 56%.
Compared to the European elections 2014, significantly more citizens have also voted because they are in favour of the EU (25%, +11pp), with record increase in Germany (+14%), Ireland (+15%), Italy (+14%), and Spain (+15%).
The top issues that impacted citizens’ decision to exercise their vote, we can find:
Economy and growth (44%)
Combating climate change and protecting the environment (37%)
Promoting human rights and democracy (37%)
The way the EU should be working in the future (36%)
Finally, we can see a higher polarization of the voters’ pool, where the left-right political scale raises on the left by 11 percentage points, and on the right by 12, while in the center only by 7%.
In the images that correlate the article, you can find the results for the 12 countries partner of the Erasmus+ KA3 Project – European Youth Together – Youth Democracy Academy.
Fieldwork: 07-26 June 2019
Eurobarometer Survey 91.5 – Conducted by Kantar, commissioned by the Public Opinion Monitoring Unit, DG COMM, European Parliament.