Two days of polling its readers brought a big surprise for the people who run ScienceFiles the biggest German Science-blog. Asked whether Germany should stay in the European Union, 91% of ScienceFiles-readers said “no”. Only about 6% (67) opted for continued membership in the EU.
These results come as a big surprise even to Dr. Heike Diefenbach and Michael Klein of the ScienceFiles-Team who both have longstanding experience in survey and social research: “We knew that ScienceFiles-readers are above average when it comes to a critical mind, however, we did not expect this,” they voice their surprise.
“It is well-known that the European Union suffered a loss of reputation for years. Even the Eurobarometer-Surveys conducted on behalf of the European Commission and not particularly reliable, when it comes to criticism of the EU, show decreasing support for the European Union,” says Dr. Heike Diefenbach, who has a vast experience in survey research and taught statistics and methodology of social research at the German Universities of Chemnitz, Leipzig and Munich.
Michael Klein who in the past worked with Eurobarometer-data and for the European Commission adds: “In the run-up to the German election, we asked our readers to tell us, what party they will vote for. Based on the results of this survey, we’ve been able to forecast the results of the German general election with an accuracy of about 3%. So when 91% of our readers who took part in the poll say they want to leave the European Union you can be pretty sure that something is going on in Germany.”
Heike Diefenbach: “From whatever angle you look at them: our results show that a great number of Germans want to leave the European Union. And we do have some information why. 16 people made use of the possibility to give their own answer to our question. Most of them expressed their wish to return to the European Economic Community and dissolve the political and administrative big head in Brussels. It is quite obvious that many Germans do not want a political Union.”
So, while in the United Kingdom there is much discussion about the referendum at the end of 2017, and polls show that the Brits are divided over the question whether they should stay in the European Union or not, Germans, who will not be asked about what they want, would tell everybody who ask them, that they want to leave, and fairly unanimously they would do so.