Citizens Views of Politics and Politicians

Published by: Richard Colwell


Irish Citizens are the most likely in Europe to think their political leaders reflect the national population; and while the majority remain dissatisfied, the Irish population are more satisfied than many others Western European countries with the way politics is run in this country.

The results of a survey carried out by WIN European members, of which RED C is the Irish member, on how citizens view politics and politicians, reveals a tendency across Western Europe to not trust politics and politicians.


The main findings for Ireland include,

  1. Irish citizens are the most likely in Europe, to feel their political leaders accurately reflect the national population.  According to people across Western Europe the majority (65%) do not feel that political leaders are a good reflection of the national population. On the contrary, only 28% believe that they indeed reflect each population.   In Ireland however, 58% believe that our political leaders are a good reflection of the population.
  2. Ireland ranks at the higher end of countries whose citizens feel they are satisfied with the way politics is run in their country, despite the ongoing media commentary that supply and demand agreement in Ireland isn’t getting anything done.  In total, less than a third of Western European citizens are satisfied with the way politics is run in their country (29%) meaning that about two-thirds (65%) are dissatisfied. In Ireland, 37% are satisfied, with 57% dissatisfied, but this is significantly ahead of countries such as Italy where just 7% are satisfied.
  3. Over two thirds of the Irish population (69%) believe that the actions of politicians most benefit the wealthy.  This is line with other European countries as whole, but those in Italy and Spain are most likely to believe this to be the case.  Even if slight differences do exist, it is important to note that on a larger scale there is no country in which politics would first and foremost benefit everyone equally (around one tenth of the global population thinks so – from 13% in France to 3% in Italy and 0% in Spain).
  4. Just 1 in 5 (20%) of the Irish population believe that Irish politicians are sincere.  At the same time just over a third (36%) think the Church is sincere, 2 in 5 (42%) think Journalists are sincere and 3 in 5 (61%) think the Military are sincere.   This is very much in line with the average in Western Europe.   Politicians are far less popular than the military across Europe: only 17% of the Western Europe population consider that they are sincere at least most of the time, whereas 60% share this point of view about the military (41% about journalists, and 38% about the Church).


Please find the full press release below.

Opinion on national politics in Western Europe – RED C Press Release


About The Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research and Opinion Polls (WIN):

WIN is a global network conducting market research and opinion polls in every continent. To the network participate the largest independent market research and polling companies in their respective countries. In the years, WIN has demonstrated wide competences and ability to conduct multi-country surveys following the highest standards requested by the market, with a formidable accumulated expertise.


The survey was conducted in 7 European countries and the sample has been superior to 7,000 online interviews (around 1000 respondents per country, half men and half women; see details below and in the attached tables). The margin of error for the survey is between +3-5% at 95% confidence level. Fieldwork has been carried out by the members of WIN in their respective countries between October and December 2017.

Sample specification:

France                                1,066 surveyed by BVA

Germany                            1,000 surveyed by Produkt + Markt

Ireland                                1,001 surveyed by Red C Research and Marketing

Italy                                     1,007 surveyed by DOXA

Netherlands                      1,027 surveyed by Motivaction International

Spain                                   1,016 surveyed by Instituto DYM

United Kingdom               1,004 surveyed by Opinion Research Business (ORB)