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EMEA: Leader Approval & Country Trajectory Outlook, January 2024

Net shares of adults or online adults in each country who approve of the incumbent political leader and said their country is headed in the right direction
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“Net approval” is the share who approve of the indicated political leader minus the share who disapprove. “Net right direction” is the share who said their country is headed in the right direction minus the share who said it is on the wrong track.

Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Data points represent 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys. One-month change corresponds to Dec. 15, 2023-Jan. 15, 2024. Six-month change corresponds to July 15, 2023-Jan. 15, 2024.

January 29, 2024 at 5:00 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • France: Macron’s cabinet reshuffle didn’t move his approval rating or country trajectory 

  • Germany: Scholz remains embattled as farmer protests anger voters 

  • Ireland: Country trajectory reached a low -point after the November riots

  • Spain: Sanchez has been punished for making a deal with Catalan separatists to stay in power

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France

On January 9, French President Emmanuel Macron appointed 34-year-old Gabriel Atta as Prime Minister preceding a Jan. 11 cabinet reshuffle. The timing of the move is almost certainly aimed at avoiding a shellacking of Macron’s Renaissance party and its allies in upcoming European Parliament elections in June — a logical fear given rock-bottom approval ratings for Macron. But the move seems unlikely to have much effect. 

Macron’s approval rating has barely budged in recent days after the reshuffle, nor has the net share of French adults who think the country is headed in the right direction: Both are in deeply negative territory. Furthermore, a plurality of French adults (33%) say there is no French political party that has views close to their own, revealing a deep-seated political skepticism, or, dare we say, malaise. 

France: Leader Approval

Net approval of President Emmanuel Macron among adults
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“Net approval” is the share who approve of the indicated political leader minus the share who disapprove.
Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Green and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

France: Country Trajectory

Net right direction among adults
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“Net right direction” is the share who said their country is headed in the right direction minus the share who said it is on the wrong track.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Blue and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Germany

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is having a rough start to 2024. His approval rating continues to slide, and German farmers closed down major thoroughfares protesting the government’s attempts to close budget gaps by removing subsidies and tax breaks they consider essential. Meanwhile, our most recent surveys show that nearly equal shares of German adults express support for far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) as for Scholz’s own Social Democrats. This was on display in regional elections in Hesse and Bavaria in October where Scholz’ traffic light coalition was dealt a blow by voters. 

While Germany does not have national elections this year, European Parliament elections in June will be another opportunity for German voters to show their discontent with Scholz’ government. While a lot can happen in the meantime, all of the signals are currently pointing to a tough row to hoe for Germany’s center left.

Germany: Leader Approval

Net approval of Chancellor Olaf Scholz among adults
Morning Consult Logo
“Net approval” is the share who approve of the indicated political leader minus the share who disapprove.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Green and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Germany: Country Trajectory

Net right direction among adults
Morning Consult Logo
“Net right direction” is the share who said their country is headed in the right direction minus the share who said it is on the wrong track.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Blue and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Ireland

Riots on Nov. 23 following a stabbing outside a school in Dublin were stoked by anti-immigrant sentiment based on rumors the attacker was Algerian. Irish adults’ net perceptions of their country’s trajectory reached a low point after the unrest, at one point dipping as low as -35 percentage points in the following days. Opinion of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar similarly crashed to a tracking low in the days after the attack. Both metrics have since rebounded to pre-riot levels. 

But those levels are still deeply negative. This supports the view that while shocking for the average Irish citizen, the riots may be symptomatic of deeper societal discontent. Despite the short-lived decline in Varadkar’s approval rating after Nov. 23, we view the event as revelatory of the dynamics underlying ongoing dissatisfaction among the Irish public and predictive of more unrest in coming months.

Ireland: Leader Approval

Net approval of Prime Minister Leo Varadkar among adults
Morning Consult Logo
“Net approval” is the share who approve of the indicated political leader minus the share who disapprove.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Green and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Ireland: Country Trajectory

Net right direction among adults
Morning Consult Logo
“Net right direction” is the share who said their country is headed in the right direction minus the share who said it is on the wrong track.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Blue and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Spain

Despite a better-than-expected result for centrists in Spain’s July 23 snap elections, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE party and its coalition allies failed to achieve a majority, with both he and the opposition Conservatives declaring victory. His public approval climbed throughout the campaign season as Sanchez sought to position himself as the bulwark between Spain and the far-right Vox party. But it peaked and then began to decline when the head of the opposition People’s Party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, got the first shot at forming a government.

Sánchez’s approval did not rebound when the Conservatives failed to form a government in late September. It then took a turn for the worse when, on Nov. 9, he made what many Spaniards consider a deal with the devil, promising amnesty to Catalan separatists to pave the way for him to form a new coalition government. However, Spanish adults’ view of the overall trajectory of the country (if not of Sanchez himself), took a small positive turn after the deal. 

The obvious public discontent with this move leaves Sánchez’ new government on a shaky foundation. Without the normal honeymoon period afforded to new leaders, he will have to fight extra hard to show Spanish adults that this government deserves to stick around for the full four-year term. 

Spain: Leader Approval

Net approval of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez among adults
Morning Consult Logo
“Net approval” is the share who approve of the indicated political leader minus the share who disapprove.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Green and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Spain: Country Trajectory

Net right direction among adults
Morning Consult Logo
“Net right direction” is the share who said their country is headed in the right direction minus the share who said it is on the wrong track.
Source: Morning Consult Political Intelligence. Blue and yellow lines represent a 7- and 30-day simple moving averages of daily surveys, respectively.

Methodology

Morning Consult conducts thousands of daily interviews on key political issues across 43 countries, making our unified data set on political attitudes — Morning Consult Political Intelligence — the largest globally. Every day, we gauge public opinion on world leaders, international organizations, policy issues and other countries to provide customers with data at the scale and speed needed to navigate the changing global political landscape in real time. Daily historical data is available for up to six years. For more information on average daily sample sizes, target populations and more, see our MCPI methodology primer here.

A headshot photograph of Sonnet Frisbie
Sonnet Frisbie
Deputy Head of Political Intelligence

Sonnet Frisbie is the deputy head of political intelligence and leads Morning Consult’s geopolitical risk offering for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Morning Consult, Sonnet spent over a decade at the U.S. State Department specializing in issues at the intersection of economics, commerce and political risk in Iraq, Central Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds an MPP from the University of Chicago.

Follow her on Twitter @sonnetfrisbie. Interested in connecting with Sonnet to discuss her analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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