Distrust of politics returns to France after the Covid break

Distrust of politics returns to France after the Covid break

The Covid-19 pandemic may go down in history as an exceptional moment of national communion. In the space of a few months, the confidence of the French towards the State and the political institutions has experienced an extremely rare upturn, in the memory of a pollster. But nearly two years after the last confinement, in the spring of 2021, France has returned to what makes it unique in Europe: a very great mistrust. This is one of the lessons of the barometer of political confidence, a vast annual survey carried out by the OpinionWay institute for the Political Research Center of Sciences Po (Cevipof) between January 27 and February 9 in four countries – France , Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy.

“We are seeing a general decline in the level of trust in institutions, the lowest since the “yellow vests”summarizes Luc Rouban, researcher at Cevipof. This general mistrust, which gives the impression of a sick and fractured society, now brings France closer to Italy, which, however, is doing a little better this year due to the arrival of the new government of Giorgia Meloni . » More than their neighbours, the French say they are suspicious and wary at the start of the five-year term, in a country torn apart by pension reform. They are so towards their fellow citizens, their institutions, whether national or European, and towards the political class in general – while expecting more protection from them.

Nearly two-thirds consider that democracy does not work well – 10 points more than two years ago – against less than 40% in Germany and 58% in Italy. This does not prevent them from expressing on a personal basis a form of well-being, serenity, even enthusiasm – the end of the Covid parenthesis, according to the authors of the study.

“We are in a hybrid moment, confirms Gilles Ivaldi, researcher at Cevipof. The tensions generated by the Covid, then the war in Ukraine, had rather improved the confidence of citizens. But they have had in parallel profound social repercussions with inflation, the crisis of energy and purchasing power. A little everywhere, what has been put in an oven is in the process of switching to anger, insecurity. When you add that to a structural crisis of representation, you have a perfect ****tail for a social crisis. »

“Mistrust” and “disgust”

Despite the presidential campaign of 2022, then the pension reform, the French are those who, in Europe, are the least interested in politics – barely half of them are passionate about public life, against 77% in Europe. Germany or 65% in Italy. More than elsewhere, this one inspires them in majority ” mistrust “ And ” disgust “, a feeling that had faded during the Covid-19 crisis. Politicians are seen as “rather corrupt” and primarily serving “their own interests”in proportions that exceed those observed elsewhere.

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