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

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”According to the voting intentions expressed by the participants in the INSCOP Research survey, PSD and PNL are in close competition for the first place in the electorate’s preferences for the European Parliament elections

According to the latest INSCOP Research survey, commissioned by Konrad Adenauer Foundation and conducted between 5 – 13 March, 2019, PSD and PNL have almost equal voting intentions in the prospect of the European Parliament elections.

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”. 11.8% of respondents chose response option no. 1, 3.3% option no. 2, 3.2% option no. 3, 3.9% option no. 4. Option 5 on the scale was chosen by 7.7% of respondents, while 4.8% of Romanians chose option no. 6, 7.3% – option no. 7, and 11% – no. 8. 11.8% of respondents chose answer option 9, while only 26.9% said they would definitely go to vote. 8.3% represent the share of non-responses.

Compared to February 2019, the percentage of those who say they will certainly vote increases slightly, given that as the elections for the European Parliament are approaching, the interest in the May ballot tends to increase.

Beyond measuring the public’s intention to go to the polls by a dedicated question, the question regarding the voting preferences gave respondents the possibility to choose a political party / alliance, as well as the response options “I don’t want to go to vote,” “I have not decided yet”, “Do not know or do not answer”. According to the survey data, 29.7% of respondents say they have not decided yet who they will vote with, 11.8% say they will not vote and 4.8% do not know or do not answer to this question.

Of the Romanians who expressed a voting preference, representing 58.5% of the total sample, 26.9% intend to vote with PSD, and 26.3% with PNL. The two parties are followed by the 2020 Alliance (USR- PLUS) with 15.3%, ALDE with 9.3% and and Pro România with 9.1%. Another party that would pass the electoral threshold is UDMR – with a score of 5%. Only 4.4% of the respondents expressed their intention to vote with PMP, while 1.1% opted for PNTCD and 1% for DEMOS. We mention that that the 2020 Alliance and UNPR were measured for the first time in the March survey. Compared to the previous months, in March the political parties’ scores register minimal variations, with the exception of Pro Romania, which increases by about three percentage points.

At the European Parliamentary elections in May 2019, the final outcome of the vote will be further influenced by many factors that can not be quantified in a poll, such as the political parties’ activity, the mobilization of political organizations, major events on the public agenda (e.g. the convocation of a referendum on voting day), 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.

Regarding the actual turnout on the election day, Inscop Research has made an estimate based on a specific question (On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means “I will certainly not vote” and 10 means “I will certainly vote”, which one describes best the likelihood of you voting in the European Parliament elections, held in May 2019?). If we take into consideration only the respondents choosing options 9 and 10 to isolate a segment of population that is very determined to go to the polls (representing 38.7% of the population) and we correlate these answers with the voting preferences, we notice slight changes in the scores obtained by the measured political parties / alliances. PSD, PNL, the 2020 Alliance would get more votes, while ALDE, Pro Romania and PMP would lose votes. Thus, 29.1% of respondents say they would vote with PSD (compared to 26.9% at the classical question) and 27.1% with PNL (compared to 26.3%). The 2020 Alliance remains on the third position with 17.7% (compared to 15.3% at the classic question), followed by Pro Romania with 8.1% (9.1% at the classic question), ALDE with 7.9% (9.3% for the classic question) and UDMR with 5.2% (5% at the classic question). The other parties would be below the electoral threshold: PMP with 3.7% (4.4% for the classical question), DEMOS with 0.7% and the PNTCD with 0.2%. The results of this correlation should be analyzed with caution as it is based on a smaller sub-sample (approximately 400 subjects), which implies an increased data error.

The INSCOP Research survey was commissioned by Konrad Adenauer Foundation and it was conducted between 5-13 March, 2019. The questionnaire was applied by the interviewers at the respondents’ home. The volume of the multi-layered, probabilistic sample was 1053 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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