Malta has been ranked as third place for voter turnout in the 2019 European Parliament elections, at 72.7 per cent. It was beat out by Belgium, at 88.47 per cent and Luxembourg, at 82.24 per cent.
Across the 28 Member State block, the entire voter turnout was recorded to be 50.66 per cent, up eight percentage points from 2014. It was found that voter turnout for the 2019 elections is the highest its been since the 1994 European elections.
Countries with the lowest turnout figures include Slovakia – coming in last at 22.74 per cent, followed by the Czech Republic, at 22.72 per cent and Slovenia, at 28.89 per cent.
19 Member States reported increase in national turnout, with significant increases compared to 2014 recorded in Poland, Romania, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Germany. Countries with a traditionally low or very low turnout in European elections, such as Slovakia and Czechia, showed substantial increases. On the other hand, turnout decreased in eight countries, but by no more than 3 percentage points in any of them.
Socio-demographic analysis shows that there has been an increase in turnout for all groups of the population, although this is higher for some groups, with a much larger turnout among younger people and first-time voters. Although older people remain more likely to vote, the increase between 2014 and 2019 is larger among young people aged under 25 (42 per cent, +14 pp) and aged 25–39 (47 per cent, +12pp), when compared with those aged 55 or over (54 per cent, +3 pp). Overall, this means that the differences between age groups have narrowed when comparing 2019 with 2014.
Reasons for voting
A greater sense of civic duty boosted the overall turnout, alongside increasingly positive support for the EU and its impact on Europeans.
The most common reason for voting was because people felt it was their duty as a citizen (52 per cent). Other main reasons were because the respondent always votes (35 per cent), because they are in favour of the EU (25 per cent), to support the political party they feel close to (22 per cent) and because voting in the elections can ‘make things change’ (18 per cent).
Issues behind the vote
There are five issues mentioned by at least a third of respondents as reasons to go to vote: economy and growth (44 per cent), combating climate change and protecting the environment (37 per cent), promoting human rights and democracy (37 per cent), the way the EU should be working in the future (36 per cent) and immigration (34 per cent).
At least a quarter of respondents mentioned a number of other issues: social protection of EU citizens (29 per cent), the fight against terrorism (26 per cent), combatting youth unemployment (25 per cent) and security and defence policy (25 per cent). Also mentioned are the protection of external borders (21 per cent), consumer protection and food safety (20 per cent) and protection of personal data (12 per cent).