Russia has been accused by the US of meddling in foreign parliamentary and presidential elections, with the allegations leading to a new round of anti-Russian sanctions levied by Washington. Public polls, however, suggest that the educated European public isn’t ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’.
Sputnik asked leading French pollster Ifop (French Institute of Public Opinion), a renowned international market researcher that has been gathering public opinion for large companies and political parties worldwide since 1938, to discover what Europeans think about the issue.
Ifop interviewed 3,228 respondents over 18 years of age in France, Germany, the UK and Poland, asking them, “Taking into account its political and economic influence and the capabilities of its special forces, which country exerts more influence on the elections in other countries?”
Among the suggested countries were the US, Russia and the EU bloc, other options suggested another country or none.
Over 40% of the French, Germans and Poles and one-third of the UK residents think it is the US which exerts influence on the elections in other countries.
Less than 30% of continental Europeans and 21% of the UK residents, however, believe that Russia has an influence on the voting in other countries.
The number of those who think that the EU interferes in the elections of other countries is almost twice as high in the UK (18%), than in France, Germany or Poland.
Age seemed to have an important influence on the answers, with the tech-savvy under 35’s showing less faith in the impartiality of the US political machine than the older generation.
In all four countries, the poll showed that education also played a factor, with those possessing a higher education choosing the US as the main culprit, in comparison to their less-educated peers.
With regards to their political preferences, in France, more supporters of the left (50%) think that the US is meddling in voting in other countries, than those who support the National Front and those who support the Democratic Movement party.
As for Germany, more Eastern Germans support the idea that the US interferes (46%), versus 39% of the Western Germans polled. Meanwhile, 31% of Westerners think the same about Russia, versus 18% in Eastern Germany.
In the UK, people residing outside the capital think the US interferes more, while about 30% of Londoners support this point of view.
In Poland, it is more the right (44%) and centrists (43%) who blame the US, while 38% of the left are of the same opinion.