Survey: Romanians divided on merging elections this year
Nearly half of Romanians (49.4%) believe that the 2024 elections should be organized separately, while 46.6% are in favor of merging some of the ballots, according to a survey conducted by INSCOP at the request of News.ro. Romania holds four rounds of elections this year - European, local, parliamentary, and presidential.
Among those in favor, the merging of the first round of presidential elections with the parliamentary elections has the most supporters, at 82.9%. The percentage of those who believe that the first round of the presidential elections should be held simultaneously with the local elections is 78%.
Over 42% of respondents believe that the presidential elections are the most important this year, while 20.4% believe that the local elections are the most important. The European Parliament elections are considered the most important by 4.7% of respondents. Nearly 12% of them claim that all the ballots are equally important.
PSD (Social Democrats) and PNL (Liberals) voters, people under 45 years old, those with a lower education level, blue or grey collars, residents of Bucharest, and large urban areas place the greatest importance on the presidential elections.
People aged between 45 and 60 years, potentially active non-workers, and residents of small urban areas declare to a greater extent than other population categories that the local elections are the most important to them.
Voters of the United Right Alliance, those with higher education, white collars, residents of Bucharest, and those with a higher income tend to place higher importance on the parliamentary elections than other population categories.
"The population sees presidential elections as the most important of the four ballots to be organized in 2024, which is why the presidential competition will strongly influence the electoral dynamics for the other ballots. In the context of the public debate on merging elections and the different opinions expressed in the public space, the population's opinions are divided, with about half supporting the idea of merging, and the other half opting for separately organized elections. Last year, the proportion of those who supported merging was significantly higher than those who preferred separately organized ballots,” said Remus Ștefureac, director of INSCOP Research.
He also added that INSCOP Research tested two merging scenarios – parliamentary with presidential and local with presidential.
“At the time of data collection, the hypothesis of coupling local elections with presidential ones had not appeared in the public space. Among those who prefer merging, the vast majority, around 80%, agree either with a coupling of parliamentary elections with the first round of the presidential ones, as we had until 2004, or with a coupling of local elections with the first round of the presidential ones. The very high percentage suggests that those who agree with merging elections would support any scenario of simultaneously organizing some ballots," he added.
Merging some of the elections that are to be held this year - European, local, parliamentary, and presidential - has been on the agenda of Romanian officials for over a year. The merging of some ballots has recently gained more support among the governing parties, despite initial opposition from the Social Democrats.
The opinion poll was conducted by INSCOP Research at the request of News.ro Agency. Data were collected between January 16 and 24, using the CATI method (telephone interviews), through a questionnaire. The sample volume, stratified simple, is 1,100 people, representative of significant socio-demographic categories.
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