Opinion poll – European elections: Big majority of potential voters want political parties to tackle global warming

A new Ipsos MORI survey released on 16 April 2019 reveals that 77% of potential voters across 11 European countries identify global warming as an important criteria when deciding who to vote for in the May European elections. This view is shared by young potential voters (75% under 30s).

This survey, carried out with potential voters across 11 European countries also reveals that environment protection and European leadership on climate action are also key issues for a large majority of potential voters across EU11.

Download the EU survey [EN]

Download the French survey [EN] [FR]

Download the German survey [EN] [DE]

Download the Italian survey [EN] [IT]

Download the Polish survey [EN] [PL]

Download the Spanish survey [EN]

When deciding which party to vote for:

  • 82% want a party that will force the most polluting companies to clean up and stop destroying our planet;
  • 82% want a party that will cut the use of pesticides and antibiotics in food production;
  • 80% want a party that will work to protect nature and stop those who are destroying our wildlife;
  • 73% want a party that will make the EU a global leader in fighting climate change.

As the 27 EU Heads of State and Government will meet in Sibiu (Romania) on 9 May to discuss the future of the European Union in the run-up to the European elections two weeks later, the results of this survey send a clear message to the actual and future decision-makers: Climate action is an election issue for voters and should be a cornerstone of the Europe that citizens citizens want.

According to the Ipsos MORI survey, when it comes to specific country expectations:

  • New jobs in the green energy industry are key to potential voters in Italy, Spain, Poland, Austria and France,
  • EU’s leadership role in fighting climate change is key in Italy and Spain,
  • Protecting against extreme weather events in Italy and Spain.
  • The EU focusing on solar energy to benefit Spain is important in the country, and solar and wind power in Slovakia,
  • Reducing single-use plastics in Netherlands, where it was the most important message for potential voters, but also important in Czech Republic,
  • Enforcing consumer rights in cases like the Diesel scandal in Germany,
  • Organic farming and the damage of pesticides in France.

About the Ipsos MORI survey

This European Elections study of potential voters, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, was carried out by Ipsos MORI in January 2019 with online samples of 2,000 potential voters aged 18 – 65 in each of 11 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain). 16 – 65 were interviewed in Austria, 18 – 59s in Poland and 18 – 50s in Slovakia. National samples were weighted to be representative of the adult population in each country and participants saying they are not at all likely to vote at the next European Parliament elections excluded from the research.

Total figures are averages across the 11 countries (treating each country as equal).


Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation

The results of this survey echo the concerns raised by millions of European who marched in the last months in European cities to ask our political leaders to act on climate.

Climate action is not a partisan issue and it is clear that it has now become a key election issue for voters. All political parties should make climate action a priority or they risk completely missing the point. Mobilizing citizens to go vote and be enthused by a new project for Europe requires the commitment to a just and green Europe, that listen to its citizens.

Nigel Topping, CEO, We Mean Business coalition

It will come as no surprise to business leaders that climate is a top concern for EU voters. We work with hundreds of businesses that are helping build the zero-carbon economy – for them it is clear that bold action on climate change is good for their customers, for the planet and for their bottom line.

EU governments can give companies the clarity and confidence they need to go even further and faster by setting ambitious, long-term climate policies.

Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network Europe

The results confirm that young people are deeply concerned about their future because of the lack of political will to tackle climate change. The upcoming European elections are an opportunity to make their voices heard.

Many young people are going to vote in the elections for the first time, and are likely to choose MEPs who support more climate action. This could bring about real change in the future European institutions, which will need to raise the EU’s climate action in line with the 1.5C objective.”

Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, Head of the Energy Centre at the Jacques-Delors Institute

This survey confirms that climate change is now a major political issue for European citizens. Europe’s politicians must now realise that they will no longer be able to get elected if they do not fight climate change, with words and deeds.”

Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40, the Cities Climate Leadership Group

If the world descends from our current climate crisis into full-blown climate breakdown it will be an act of inter-generational betrayal. Half of all human-generated carbon emissions have been pumped into the atmosphere in the last thirty years. Those born in the 21st Century stand to inherit a dangerously changing climate, created by their parents and grand-parents’ generation who won’t be around to face the very worst consequences. At a school climate strike I attend in Oslo a placard accused my generation thus: “You’ll die of old age. I’ll die of climate change”.

It is not surprising that young voters across Europe also see climate action as amongst their very highest priorities – it is the issue that will define their lives. Mayors of the world’s leading cities are listening. From Paris, Milan and Copenhagen to Sydney and Los Angeles, mayors are meeting with young people, listening to their ideas and priorities to help create the future they want. When future generations look back on today’s politicians, who knew the full scale of the potential climate crisis ahead, and still had the opportunity to act, they will not forgive those who chose inaction, inertia and vested interests. I’d urge anyone with a vote in the European elections this year to ask a teenager what their priorities are before they cast their votes.