76% of French voters believe that public services should be a bigger priority for France’s policymakers in future, according to a new, nationally representative poll by the Serco Institute.
The new research also found that over two thirds (68%) of French voters were in favour of the Government working with the private sector if this improves the quality of public services and reduces costs for taxpayers.
Working with independent pollsters Survation, the public services think tank the Serco Institute sought to examine the French electorate’s views towards public services ahead of the second round of the French presidential election on Sunday (April 24).
The polling data showed that one in three respondents (33%) felt public services should be ‘much more’ of a priority for their country’s policymakers, while an additional 43% felt public services should be ‘somewhat more’ of a priority.
Crucially, this sentiment was shared by respondents of all political persuasions: similar proportions of voters who supported Mr. Macron, Ms. Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon during the election’s first round felt public services should be a bigger priority (80%, 79% and 78% respectively). It was only among first-round supporters of Éric Zemmour that this sentiment grew less prevalent – still, however, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Zemmour voters believed public services should be more of a priority for French policymakers.
Once again, the principle of collaboration between the public and private sectors enjoyed cross-party support: 75% of first-round Macron voters and 70% of Le Pen voters felt the Government should work with private sector organisations. While the percentage of respondents who felt this way dipped among Mélenchon supporters, support for public-private sector collaboration still commanded a clear majority (61%) of voters who supported the left-wing candidate.
The survey was conducted on 19 April 2022, with 1,013 residents of France aged 18 and over polled and the data weighted to be nationally representative.
Commenting on the findings, Serco Institute Deputy Director Ben O’Keeffe said:
“In an election campaign where the cost of living has featured so prominently, it is no surprise that the French people wish to see greater attention paid to public services by their policymakers.
“What is more, it is clear from this poll that voters from across the political spectrum feel the private sector should seek to collaborate with government if this can lead to improved public services and greater efficiency.
“Whoever next occupies the Elysée Palace would do well to take note of the French electorate’s public services priorities – the desire for better services clearly cuts across political divisions.
“Fundamentally this research shows that what is important is not who delivers public services, but what outcomes are achieved for citizens.
You can find the data tables here.