Commentary EP elections

27 percent of Czech voters to take part in EP elections

Twenty-seven percent of Czech voters want to take part in the European elections to be held in two weeks time, the STEM/MARK agency's poll revealed.

According to STEM/MARK, mainly regular voters, men, university-educated people, and Prague residents will participate in the May European Parliamentary elections. Eighteen-year-olds who can vote for the first time are not yet decided on participating.

The agency also monitored how well-known the leaders of the candidate lists are and how much people trust them. Jiří Pospíšil from the coalition of TOP 09, STAN and other political parties, placed first in this poll. Jan Zahradil (ODS), Pavel Telička (Hlas/the Voice) and Jaromír Štětina (Evropa sobě/Europe for Itself) ranked in the following places. The last two MEPs mentioned serve as evidence that non-parliamentary parties can succeed in elections thanks to their well-known leaders.

“Their chances to be elected are confirmed by the question of whether respondents would be willing to vote for the party or movement just because of its leader. Twelve percent of potential voters confirmed this assumption,” said Jan Burianec from the STEM/MARK agency.

Almost half of the respondents (48 percent) named security as a "very important" issue for the EP elections. For another 42 percent, it was "quite important". This topic concerns mostly women and people over the age of sixty. Also, more than half of the voters who are determined to participate in the elections, view this topic as "very important". Respondents, in particular, often associated the topic of security with Jiří Pospíšil, Jaromír Štětina, and Ivan David (SPD).

The Czech Republic will keep its 21 representatives in the European Parliament after the elections. However, in the previous elections in 2014, the voter turnout was very low. Only 18.2 percent of voters came to the polling stations to cast their votes.

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