The Look of French on the Voting Rights of Foreign Residents in Local Elections


Harris Interactive France

Survey conducted by telephone from September 24 to 26, 2015.
Sample of 1015 individuals representative of the French population aged 18 and older. Quotas and recovery method applied to the following variables: gender, age, occupational status, and region of the interviewee (s).

For over twenty years, the Letter of Citizenship publishes a barometric survey to monitor over time the eyes of the French on the right to vote for foreigners residing in France for local and European elections. As it stands, the law open to nationals of the European Union the right to vote in municipal and European elections held in France, but this does not apply to foreign residents from countries not belonging to the European Union.

The 2013 wave of the barometer was conducted a few hours after the announcement by Hollande to extending the right to vote in local and European elections to all foreigners residing in France after the municipal elections of 2014, in accordance with the commitment the candidate of the Socialist Party during the campaign for the presidential election of 2012. In contrast, this subject was less present on the political agenda in achieving the 2014 edition of the survey.
In 2015, if this subject is not discussed by the Executive, population movements to Europe have put the issue of the place of “abroad” in France at the center of public debate.


What can we learn from this survey?

Once informed that the foreign countries of the European Union residing in France have the right to vote in municipal and European elections, one in two French (50%) is in favor of the extension of this right to non-members foreigners European Union living in the country.
This corresponds to an increase (+3 points) compared to the last measurement made in 2014, itself a decrease of 12 points from the 59% of French favor in 2011 (the highest proportion collected since the beginning This barometer in 1994).

In detail, the support for the extension of voting rights of foreign residents in local elections increased among both 18-24 year olds (72%, +11 points) than over 65 (40%, +10 points). You can also see a widening gap between the upper class and CSP- (56% and 44% in favor of extending the right to vote, against 47% and 51% in 2014). Finally, the measure is more supported by the supporters of the Left than Right.
Moreover the French are also more likely to be unfavorable to the voting rights of foreigners (47%, +3 points compared to 2014, compared to eight in 2011). Seems less to operate in the opinion unambiguous increase in support for this measure, a structure of the debate and a decrease in the number of people not ruling (3% against 9% in 2014).