NEWS31 October 2016

Euroscepticism taking hold across the continent

Brexit Europe News Trends UK

UK – That the UK is the most Eurosceptic country in Europe will come as no surprise following the EU referendum but significant proportions in all countries want to leave the EU or reduce its powers, according to research by YouGov for think tank Demos.  

European countries_crop

The polling was part of Demos’s project Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself and found that 57% in Sweden, 55% in France, 41% in Spain, 40% in Poland and 39% in Germany. Britons ( 45%) were almost twice as likely as any other to support leaving the EU as the preferred long-term strategy.

The think tank said that citizens share widespread pessimism about both Europe’s prospects and their own country’s outlook in the coming year.

Indeed trust in both national and EU-level governments remains low across most countries.

Germany and Spain (both 23%) were the most supportive of increasing EU powers.

The research found widespread support for globalisation across Europe with 58% saying it brought benefits to both their own country and 63% that it benefited the region as a whole.

Ralph Scott, head of citizenship at Demos, said: “Europe has experienced a series of crises over the past few years and we’re starting to see the implications for public attitudes, and national and regional politics. The rise of populist parties has gone hand-in-hand with economic precariousness and stagnating incomes for some, rising concern over diversity, and an apparent inability of mainstream political parties to address these issues.

“This polling shows that as a result, people’s attitudes to the European project and even globalisation itself are changing, potentially with drastic results. Of particular concern is France, where the people are very pessimistic about their prospects, appear sceptical of the benefits of globalisation and diversity and don’t appear to trust political institutions to find a resolution.”

This Demos’ study is exploring how economic and social trends are influencing political attitudes, and preferences for different leadership styles.

The polling was conducted by YouGov for Demos between 23 August and 7 September 2016. The online survey covered six countries: 1661 GB, 1001 French, 2125 German, 1011 Polish, 1000 Spanish and 1007 Swedish adults.