How important are EU Parliament elections?

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 23, 2019, 1:00 PM GMT+0

Data reveals that bin collections are higher on the agenda than EU trade deals, as the public see local council elections as more significant than European vote

Campaigners on both sides of the Brexit divide have been electioneering hard ahead of tomorrow’s EU Parliament vote, but new YouGov data suggests that the most important elections this month have already been and gone.

A YouGov poll asking Britons how important various types of elections are found that while a majority of people (54%) say EU Parliament elections are either “very” or “fairly” important, this rises to 69% for local council elections.

Unsurprisingly both are beaten in the importance stakes by general elections, at 86%.

They are, however, seen as more important than elections to the devolved bodies in Scotland (49%) and Wales (43%), as well as Police and Crime Commissioner elections (38%) and city mayor elections (34%).

There are, of course, notable exceptions within this data – in Scotland, for instance, 71% of people think the Scottish Parliament elections are important. Likewise, in London, 51% think that city mayor elections are key.

Remain voters more likely to see almost all types of elections as important elections

While a majority see EU Parliament elections are important, there is a huge split between Remain and Leave voters – 73% of the former think they are important compared to only 40% of the latter.

The results also reveal that Remain voters are more likely across the board to see the various elections as important. There is a single exception: Police and Crime Commissioner elections, where the two sides are effectively tied at 37% to 38%.