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Germans keenest on Euro elections: Google

The Local · 16 Dec 2014, 11:45

Published: 16 Dec 2014 11:45 GMT+01:00

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Whilst voter participation in the May 2014 reached record lows - barely scraping 34 percent in the UK, for example - eager-beaver Germans lapped up information on the battle for seats in the Brussels-based parliament, pushing it into 10th place of all news search terms in the country.

Above it were slightly more interesting subjects - such as the World Cup (which Germany won), the suicide of Robin Williams and the war in Ukraine.
Not to mention the jailing of ex-Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeneß for massive tax evasion, the spread of the deadly Ebola virus and the drug overdose of Hollywood star Philip Seymour Hoffmann.
In fact, the German thirst for knowledge of the election was not actually matched by turnout on polling day, when just under half of eligible voters actually made it to the polling station.
Turnout at European elections has dropped steadily since the first elections in 1979, from an average EU-wide of 61.9 percent to just 43 percent this year.
The election to the 751-seat parliament - which sits in both Brussels and Strasbourg - saw boosts for populist parties of both right and left, as the electorate of Europe showed its frustration at ongoing austerity measures and a perceived lack of democracy at the EU.
In fact, the 2014 election was supposed to mark a watershed in citizen participation, with the parliament for the first time having a say over the appointment of the commission president.
Story continues below…
With no national German election to look forward to until 2017, interest in the European parliament election was highest in Bremen, Lower Saxony and Schlewig-Holstein, the Google figures show.

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