Poll Influence

  • First poll to explore the complex relationship between the German voters’ pro-EU integration rhetoric and their simultaneous rejection of all forms of further financial aid to the Eurozone.
  • Found that the majority of German voters think membership of euro should be slimmed down, and that they only support ‘political union’ in the EU, if it means strong budget controls in the rest of the Eurozone.
  • Brings to the fore the strong resistance among German voters against activism by the European Central Bank (ECB), and the ECB’s proposed bond-buying programme.
Yes 29%
No 55%
Not sure 16%

Do German voters support ‘Political Union’ in the Eurozone if it includes fiscal transfers?

Although half of German voters said they support ‘Political Union,’ in the Eurozone, when asked if they would be willing to accept permanent fiscal transfers and a common budget in order to save the euro – the majority (55%) rejected it outright.Source: YouGov Deutschland for Open Europe & Open Europe Berlin.

17 September 2013

German voters says euro-membership should be slimmed down

When asked about Germany’s future membership of the euro, 55% of voters said they agreed “Germany should keep the euro but membership should be restricted to a select group of more similar countries”, while only 34% disagreed with this option. Reverting to the D-mark is only backed by one-third of voters (32%) versus 60% opposing it, with a similar breakdown on the option of breaking up the euro completely (30% tend to agree, 59% tend to disagree). 46% said the euro shouldn’t be saved “at any cost”, while 42% said it should. 42% said they agree the euro is now threatening the European project – only marginally lower than those who say it does not (45%).

 All forms of further Eurozone financial aid rejected by voters

By a clear majority on every policy queried, German voters do not consider the next German government to have the mandate to press ahead with more direct or indirect financial support to the Eurozone after the September 22 elections.

Just over half (52%) don’t want the next government to commit to further loans for crisis-hit Eurozone members (35% tend to agree);  57% said the next government should not have the mandate to forgive some debt owed by Southern Eurozone countries (31% tend to agree); 56% of voters said the next government would not have the mandate to sign up to a joint backstop for banks (29% agreed), while 64% and seven in ten (70%) respectively, said the same of debt pooling via eurobonds and fiscal transfers.

Almost two-thirds (65%) said the next Chancellor would only have the mandate to sign up to more money going to other Eurozone countries, if a referendum was held.

‘Political union’ is only supported if it means stronger budget controls

Just over half of voters support turning the Eurozone into a “political union, with stronger central budget controls” (34% don’t.) However, when “political union” is defined as including “fiscal transfers”, this majority is reversed with 55% of Germans being against and only 30% supportive.

 Support for ruling ECB bond-buying illegal

There was considerable support for the German Constitutional Court to rule the ECB’s bond-buying programme (OMT) illegal in its on-going court case. By a margin of almost two to one (46% to 25%), Germans said the Court should rule against the OMT if the stability of the euro could be ensured in other ways. Over a third said that the Court should rule against the OMT, even if that threatens the stability of the euro. In a strong indication of how seriously Germans take the rule of law, almost half (48%) of those asked said upholding the law is more important than saving the euro (30% disagreed).

Strong opposition to ECB activism – even if beneficial to the euro as a whole

Unsurprisingly, there’s considerable scepticism about the European Central Bank easing its focus on maintaining price stability, even if it was deemed beneficial for the Eurozone as a whole, with six in ten voters (62%) opposing such a move, compared to only one in four (25%) backing it.

SPD 18%
Greens 9%
FDP 4%
Linke 6%
AfD 5%
Pirates 2%
Other 2%
None 11%
Don't know 15%

Mismatch between German mainstream politicians' and voters views on Europe

When German voters were asked which party best represents their views on Europe and Eurozone policy, both the CDU/CSU and the SPD scored well below their wider support on 29% and 18% respectively. Many Germans said they 'don't know' (15%) or 'none' (11%), while 5% think the anti-euro AfD party best reflects their views.Source: YouGovDeutschland for Open Europe & Open Europe Berlin

Mismatch between mainstream politicians’ and voters’ views on Europe

On the question of which party best reflects voters’ opinions about European and eurozone policy, irrespective of who they intend to vote for, both the CDU/CSU (29%) and the SPD (18%) score well below their wider support. ‘Don’t know’ (15%) and ‘none’ (11%) scored third and fourth, ahead of any other party, while 5% say the anti-euro AfD party best reflects their views.

Methodology note

YouGov Deutschland interviewed 1,010 adults online between 21 and 26 August 2013. Data were weighted to be representative of German adults aged 18+. Data were also weighted to past vote recall. For a full break-down of the answers including demographical data and voting intentions: Download YouGov Ergebnis Tabbellenband

If you cannot see the PDF reader below, please click here to access the full report.

Download PDF