As voting gets underway in elections for the European Parliament, the biggest fear is a low turnout. According to polls, the participation level in France is expected to be between 35% and 39%, witch is spectacularly low.
“It’s especially scary because the UMP is starting to give an explanation to that abstention…and Patrick Devedjian, the minister, has said that the low turnout is an expression of confidence… that people actually agree on what’s going on and with the European institutions, so why bother voting? That’s a very Machiavellic interpretation,” said Raquel Garrido, a European elections candidate from the Party of the Left. However, she added that her party is trying to put new issues on the table such as the “multi-partisan management” of the European parliament which is something new that “should induce everybody to go vote for new left-wing deputies, who will do something different.”
Asked about the low level of voter interest, Alain Richard, a European elections candidate from the French Socialist Party, said there’s a “feeling that Europe is distant, and that issues are complicated." He added that it’s up to European candidates “to make real issues understandable to people.”
Catherine Grèze, a candidate from the Europe Ecology Party, thinks that “the key issue” of the election is that “for must of the parties, the campaign is a national one and… Europe is always presented as a problem. Whereas for us ecologists, maybe because we have this internationalist vision, Europe is a solution.”