FEBRUARY 2019 – THE ROMANIANS’ WILLINGNESS TO GO TO THE POLLS AND THEIR VOTING INTENTIONS AT THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS

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“The distribution of voting preferences is rather balanced, as there is no clear favorite in the electoral race for the European Parliament at this point”

 The latest INSCOP Research survey reveals that PSD and PNL have almost equal voting intentions in the prospect of the European Parliament elections. The poll, commissioned by Konrad Adenauer Foundation, was conducted between January 21 and February 5, 2019.

The Romanians’ willingness to go to the polls at the European Parliament elections scheduled for late May was measured on a scale from 1 to 10, where note 1 means “I will certainly not vote” and note 10 means “I will certainly vote”. 11.7% of respondents chose response option no. 1, 3.7% option no. 2, 4.4% option no. 3, 3.7% option no. 4. Option 5 on the scale was chosen by 7.9% of respondents, while 5.4% of Romanians chose option no. 6, 7.5% – option no. 7, and 11.2% – no. 8. 10.3% of respondents chose answer option 9, while only 26.1% said they would definitely go to vote. 8.2% represent the share of non-responses.

Compared to November 2018, the percentage of those who say they will certainly not vote decreased by 2.9 pct., given that as the elections for the European Parliament are approaching, the interest in the May ballot tends to increase.

As for the Romanians’ voting preferences, when asked the generic question: Which party or alliance would you vote for if the European Parliament elections were to be held next Sunday? 29.7% of respondents said they haven’t decided yet, 11.7% firmly stated they wouldn’t vote, while 4.1% don’t know or didn’t respond to this question.

Of the Romanians who expressed a voting preference, representing 54.5% of the total sample, 27.8% intend to vote with PSD and 26.7% with PNL. The two parties are followed by USR with 10%, ALDE with 9.2% and PLUS with 7%. We mention that USR and PLUS’s voting intentions were measured separately, as the data collection started before to the two parties completed the negotiations for forming the 2020 Alliance. Other parties that would pass the electoral threshold are Pro Romania, which would obtain a score of 6.6%, and UDMR – with a score of 5.1%. Only 4.4% of the respondents expressed their intention to vote with PMP, while 1.5% opted for PNTCD and 0.8% for DEMOS.

Compared to November 2018, PSD’s percentage remains almost unchanged (27.4% in November, compared to 27.6% in January-February), while PNL gains 2.6% in voting intentions. The other parties recorded no major developments.

The voting options revealed by the current sociological survey reflect the voters’ opinions reported to a representative sample of nearly 55% of the voting population, residing in Romania. At the European Parliamentary elections in May 2019, the voting intention will be influenced by many factors such as the political parties’ activity, major events on the public agenda, the parties’ final list of candidates, the actual turnout on the day of the vote or the number of votes casted by Romanians living abroad.

Based on the presented data, at least six Romanian political parties and alliances have high chances to pass the electoral threshold and to send representatives to the European Parliament.

The INSCOP Research survey measured also Romanians’ opinion about the direction of the country and of the European Union. Romanians are more optimistic about the direction the EU is heading, as compared to their country. About 70% of respondents believe that things in Romania are heading in the wrong direction, while only 16.9% believe it is the right direction. 11.5% say they do not know or do not answer. Regarding the direction the European Union is heading, 44.2% say it is a good one and 38.5% a wrong one. The share of nonresponses is 17.2%.

The INSCOP Research survey was commissioned by Konrad Adenauer Foundation and it was conducted between January 21 and February 5, 2019. The questionnaire was applied by the interviewers at the respondents’ home. The volume of the multi-layered, probabilistic sample was 1080 persons, representative for the non-institutionalized population of Romania, aged 18 and over. The maximum permissible error of the data is 3%, at a confidence level of 95%.

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