VOX-analysis May vote: low voter turnout and three times following parliament and Federal Council | gfs.bern

VOX-Analyse Mai-Abstimmung: tiefe Stimmbeteiligung und dreimal dem Parlament und Bundesrat gefolgt

01.07.2022 | Tobias Keller, GFS Bern

The vote on 15 May 2022 mobilised only a few people. Just around 40 percent cast their vote on the Film Act, the Transplantation Act and “Frontex”. This is shown by the results of the survey of 3,231 eligible voters in the VOX Analysis May 2022. The study was conducted by gfs.bern and financed by the Federal Chancellery.

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Fair and new source of funding for the Swiss film industry

The amendment to the Film Act aims to eliminate the unequal treatment of television broadcasters and streaming services. This is because not only domestic television broadcasters but also streaming services are to be subject to an investment obligation. The electorate clearly accepted the amendment.  Older and younger people, men and women – almost every socio-demographic subgroup voted in favour. However, a political breakdown shows that the majority of people from the right-wing political spectrum or SVP sympathisers voted against the amendment. For them, state interference in the economy is unnecessary because the cultural sector already receives enough subsidies. For the majority of the electorate, one argument was above all important: the Swiss film industry should be strengthened and needs new sources of funding for this. This is fair, creates jobs and orders (continue to) go to the local industry. This means that streaming services will also be asked to pay in the future and will have to invest in the Swiss film industry.

 

Saving more lives thanks to the new Transplantation Act

The amendment to the Transplantation Act means that anyone who does not wish to donate their organs must state this during their lifetime – the so-called objection solution. The electorate clearly approved the bill. Hardly any subgroup of the electorate said no by a majority. The further to the left someone is politically, the more clearly he or she voted yes. Those who trust science, the FOPH, orthodox medicine and surgeons also voted yes. For them, it is clear that the objection solution will save lives and relieve the burden on relatives, as they no longer have to decide. The majority of the “No” voters are on the far right, sympathise strongly with the SVP and trust free churches. For them, the right to an intact body is central and that the state should not interfere in organ donation.  The clear yes of the electorate leads to the introduction of the contradiction solution.

 

Broad political alliance for the expansion of the Frontex border protection agency

In the context of the Ukraine war, the expansion of Frontex achieved a clear majority primarily for security policy – and not for European policy – considerations. Many voters were aware of the criticism of Frontex’s current working methods and shortcomings, but better protection of the Schengen external borders thanks to more resources and personnel was the decisive motive for many Yes voters. The political alliance from the GLP and the centre to the far right voted quite unanimously in favour of the expansion of an EU agency, which is remarkable especially among the SVP supporters who are critical of many EU dossiers. On the left, the situation was more controversial. Far-left voters or those who do not trust the institutions of security policy were in the majority against the expansion, while moderate leftists tended to vote in favour of the Frontex proposal. The supporters of the SP and the Greens followed the party leadership’s “no” slogans by only a narrow majority.

 

2022 starts with low mobilisation and proposals with low personal significance

The turnout on 13 February 2022 was comparatively low at around 44 per cent. In November 2021, a very high mark of 65.7 per cent was reached, which was also due to the very mobilising voting proposals (e.g. COVID-19 law). In comparison, the importance ratings of the February vote are much lower: the bills received an importance rating between 5.6 and 6.6 on a 10-point scale, which means they were not rated nearly as important as the November 2021 vote on the Covid-19 law (8.8).

Click here for all results and analysis (in French, German and Italian).

 


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Tobias Keller

Tobias Keller

Project manager