The join-in campaign on marriage has mobilising effect

26.09.2021 | Adriana Pepe, GFS Bern

Over 50% of those eligible to vote exercised their right to vote in the Marriage for All referendum, the front-runner was Rüdlingen with a turnout of 80.2%, and Billens-Hennens brought up the rear with 19.8%. How are these results to be understood? We have compared the voting behaviour on 26.09 (marriage for all) with the behaviour on 13.06 (CO2 law) and evaluated it for you.

With marriage for all, the trend towards diversity and social liberalisation continues. After the still cautiously formulated partnership law in 2005 in favour of homosexual couples and the discrimination ban of 2020, marriage for all – including sperm donation for lesbian couples – shows how broadly non-traditional ways of life are accepted in society.

The participatory campaign, which was also supported via online media and relied on the willingness to support the campaign with flags or stickers, was more enthusiastic than the sometimes drastic debate of the opposition. The criticism of the bill was not able to mobilise beyond its own circles.

Compared to the last referendum, the urban population was mobilised to a similar extent. The rural population, on the other hand, participated less frequently in the previous vote. Thus, the participation effects are rather the opposite of June 2021, when the record-high mobilisation in the countryside brought down the CO2 law.


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Adriana Pepe |

Adriana Pepe

Junior Project Manager