Icelanders in the dark over EU pros and cons

A new Capacent Gallup poll found that only a quarter of respondents want Iceland to join the European Union, but many do not know why.

Gallup’s regular National Pulse Poll showed that 60 percent of Social Democrat voters want entry while 70-75 percent of Independence Party, Progressive Party and Left Green Movement voters are against EU entry.

RUV reports that opposition to Icelandic EU accession seems to have grown steadily since the economic collapse, although it is very difficult to compare different polls. One reason is that some ask opinions on Iceland entering the EU and other solicit opinions on Iceland applying to join.

This time, Gallup asked straight: “Are you for or against Icelandic entry into the EU?” 60 percent said they are against, 14 percent have yet to decide and 26 percent are for.

18 months ago, 64 percent of respondents told the same polling company they were in favour of starting EU accession talks. In February this year 33 percent favoured EU entry for Iceland. It is important to notice the two polls asked different questions.

Social Democrat voters are most enthusiastic about the EU followed by Left Green voters – although they are less than 50 percent. Progressive and Independence voters are most sceptical.

Pro-EU voices are drawing some cheer from the fact that less than half of respondents rated themselves as well acquainted with the pros and cons of EU membership.

It was also revealed that respondents do not trust Icelandic media to provide them with an unbiased account of the EU’s pros and cons for Iceland. Despite this, a majority also said they would like to hear more information about the EU on radio and TV.

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