By Constantinos Psillides
THE abstention rate in the upcoming May 25 European Parliament elections will exceed 50 per cent in Cyprus, according to a poll commissioned by ANT1 TV released late on Thursday.
Less than half of the participants said that they will be voting (40.6 per cent) making this the lowest percentage recorded since Cyprus joined the EU in 2004.
The DISY-EVROKO ticket is expected to come in as the winner, with 24.9 per cent of the vote. In all polls commissioned for the euro elections up to now, the ruling party comes as the clear winner.
Main opposition party AKEL is expected second with 15.5 per cent, DIKO with 8.4 per cent, and the EDEK and Green Party coalition barely scraping together 4.5 per cent, barely ahead of the newly formed Citizen’s Alliance at 4.4 per cent.
Asked whether they were interested on the euro elections, 36.2 per cent of those polled said: “Not at all”, while 25.4 answered “a little”, 21.3 said “yes” while only 17.3 per cent said they were “very interested”.
According to the ANT1 TV poll, young voters are amongst those least interested
Asked about their voting criteria, people cited the candidates’ stance on the Cyprus problem – especially among older voters – internal governance and party allegiances.
Only 7.2 per cent responded their vote depended on individual candidates and only 5.4 said their vote depends on party stance regarding EU issues.
Asked why they were not voting, 48.1 per cent of participants said they didn’t trust politicians, 16.5 per cent said that they were not interested in politics, 13.7 said it was because of the current situation the country was in and 11 per cent said that none of the candidates were worthwhile.
Asked to rank the problems they were concerned with, 52.4 per cent said the economy was their number one worry, while 23.7 per cent said they worried about unemployment and 10.2 per cent said they were concerned with the Cyprus problem and foreign policy.
The poll shows a rise in pessimism as 67 per cent said next year they thought the economy would be worse.
Despite the negativity, President Nicos Anastasiades approval ratings seem to have increased, with 64.1 per cent viewing him favourably, a 1.9 per cent increase since November 2013 when ANT1 commissioned a similar poll.