Politics, Government & Current Affairs

The Eurozone Crisis- What Do UK Voters Think? Survation For The Mail On Sunday

A recent poll conducted by Survation has revealed that the majority of respondents (58%) agree that Greece ‘should abandon the Euro as its currency and return to the Drachma’, compared to 18% who disagree. Males (62%) were more likely to agree than females (55%), as were those who voted Conservative in the 2010 General Election (71%).

Most of those surveyed (58%) agreed with the statement ‘Germany should not fund another bailout for Greece’, while 20% said that Germany should fund a further Greek bailout. It is worth noting that almost a quarter (23%) of respondents opted for ‘Don’t Know’.

Interestingly, our respondents overwhelmingly believed that Greece will leave the Eurozone in the near future. A large majority of those surveyed (77%) stated that it was ‘likely’ that Greece will leave the Eurozone by the end of 2012- only 12% said that they felt it was unlikely. This view was observed consistently regardless of age, gender, region, 2010 General Election vote and income.

However, respondents to our survey did not progress from believing that Greece will exit to arguing that the entire Eurozone currency will collapse- 38% said that this was ‘likely’ but 48% opted for this being an ‘unlikely’ scenario.

When asked ‘do you think that the EU as a whole would be better or worse off in the long run if the Eurozone currency were to break up’, 43% of respondents chose ‘better off’ compared to 33% who selected ‘worse off’. Similarly, 39% of respondents said that the UK would be better off in the long term if the Eurozone were to collapse, while 29% said it would be worse off. However, when asked how a Eurozone breakup would affect them personally, 44% of those surveyed said that they would be ‘neither better nor worse off’, while 21% said that they would be ‘better off’ and 20% said that they would be ‘worse off’.

When asked ‘how likely do you think it is that a breakup of the Eurozone would lead to the breakup of the European Union as a whole’, 52% of respondents replied ‘unlikely’ while 28% said ‘likely’.

Our poll found significant support for the policy approach of the new French President, François Hollande, with 47% of those surveyed expressing support for his policy that ‘European countries must spend more on measures to promote growth, even if in the short run this increases their borrowing’ and a third (33%) disagreeing with the policy.

On the other hand, there was less support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stance that ‘European countries should keep cutting government spending in order to reduce their borrowing, even if in the short run this reduces growth’, with 42% of respondents saying that they disagree with this policy versus 38% who agree with it.

When asked ‘overall, which leader do you think has the best policy approach to the current Eurozone crisis’, 32% of respondents chose President François Hollande, while 20% chose Prime Minister David Cameron and 16% selected Chancellor Angela Merkel. Almost a third (32%) of respondents said that they ‘Don’t Know’.

Regarding responsibility for causing the Eurozone crisis, respondents overwhelmingly blame bankers, financial markets and credit ratings agencies (50%), followed by the European Union (22%) and the Greek Government (11%). When asked what, in their view, is the main cause of the Greek economic crisis, 57% of those surveyed replied ‘poor decision-making by successive Greek governments’ while 27% blamed ‘Greek work culture and pervasive tax avoidance’, 14% said ‘Don’t Know’ and just 3% replied ‘insufficient EU bailouts or the EU bailouts being too late’.

When asked which countries are most likely to leave the Euro, 63% of respondents selected Greece, while 44% said Spain, 36% chose Portugal, 31% said Ireland and 25% selected Italy. Just 21% of those surveyed said that they ‘do not believe any countries will leave the Euro’.

Despite the prospect of Eurozone withdrawals, or even a Eurozone breakup, only 61% of those surveyed agreed with the statement ‘a breakup of the Euro will lead to EU wide riots’ while 16% said that it will not and 23% replied ‘Don’t Know’.

Opinion was fairly evenly divided regarding the UK’s membership of the European Union, with 44% saying that Britain should withdraw and 45% saying that the UK should remain an EU member. Regarding British party leaders, 27% said that David Cameron has the best approach towards Europe and 25% expressed approval for Ed Miliband’s approach. Only 6% chose Nick Clegg and a significant 42% said ‘Don’t Know’.

When asked ‘who deserves the most credit for keeping the UK out of the Euro’?, 24% of respondents chose Gordon Brown, while 20% said Margaret Thatcher, 16% selected Tony Blair and 11% chose John Major. More than a quarter of respondents replied ‘Don’t Know’.

Survation did not poll on the ‘state of the parties’ for this survey.


By Charlotte Jee


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