The CO2 law is also rejected because of the strong mobilisation against the drinking water and pesticide initiatives.

13.06.2021 | Tobias Keller, GFS Bern

Opposition to the drinking water and pesticide initiatives was mobilised mainly in rural areas. This mobilisation is probably also responsible for rejection of the CO2 law.

With the No to the CO2 Act, the Federal Council, Parliament and the majority of the parties suffer a painful defeat at the ballot box. The No trend from the preliminary polls could thus not be slowed down even in the last weeks and days before the vote. The No to the CO2 law comes in particular from the very strong mobilisation in the countryside due to the two agricultural bills. Our analysis of all communes shows: The more today’s voter turnout is above the average of the last 5 years, the clearer the No to the CO2 law will be. The broad opposition to the drinking water and pesticide initiative in rural areas, which was strongly mobilised by the campaign, is thus likely to have dragged the CO2 law down with it today.

While the electorate normally supports the position of the authorities at the ballot box, this is not the case today. After the “no” to the AHV reform, the eID proposal and the Hunting Act, the CO2 Act is now the latest addition to the pile of failed proposals from the authorities. Since the lockdown in 2020, 4 out of 10 government bills (40%) have failed. The long-term average of failed proposals since 2000 is 25%. Switzerland presents itself polarised.

Today’s referendum result also shows that the population has little ear for political compromise – even on issues where the pressure of problems is high. The danger of a political blockade on key reform efforts and key concerns of the population according to the CS Worry Barometer is thus very real.

Differences in voter turnout and No to the CO2 Act

View of the voting trends for the CO2 act

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Tobias Keller

Tobias Keller

Project manager and Team Lead Data Analytics