New survey reveals which issues the Swiss care about most
As the country approaches the federal elections this October, a new survey by LeeWas has uncovered what issues people in Switzerland care about most. Experts at the polling agency noted that the recently announced rise in the cost of Swiss health insurance has radically changed what issues people are top of the agenda, to the detriment of some political parties and the benefit of others.
Swiss health insurance costs now top of the agenda
According to the study, 75 percent of respondents said that the cost of basic and supplemental health insurance is a key issue in Switzerland today. This is near-double the number that thought it was an issue back at the beginning of September (39 percent), with the problem now considered the most pressing by both pundits and respondents.
The change in priorities has been attributed to the announcement on September 26, when President and Health Minister Alain Berset confirmed that health insurance costs would rise by 8,7 percent on average when premiums are renewed for 2024. The timing of the announcement in the lead-up to the elections has seen it rocket up the importance list for most citizens, who will now all face higher bills.
Despite recent attempts to ensure its stability, the funding of the pension system in Switzerland was the second most common concern at 54 percent. Immigration rounded out the podium with 48, while the security of the energy supply (44) and the integrity of the asylum system (42) completed the top five.
10 most pressing issues in Switzerland
In all, here are the top 10 most important issues facing Switzerland today, according to Swiss voters:
- Health insurance costs (75)
- Retirement provisions (54)
- Migration / Immigration (48)
- Energy security (44)
- Asylum system (42)
- Climate change (41)
- Housing / rental costs (38)
- Environmental protection (33)
- Relationship with the European Union (31)
- Inflation (27)
Issues lists bodes well for SVP, while Greens set to struggle
Watson noted that this poll is often a good indicator of how the federal elections will play out, with the survey taken just a few weeks before the national poll. For instance, in 2019 the survey found climate change to be the most commonly feared issue in the country. At the federal elections a few weeks later, the Green Party won 17 more seats in the National Council compared to 2015.
Now, with climate change languishing as the sixth most pressing issue on the list, the LeeWas poll predicted that the Green Party will see its vote share fall by 2,7 percent on October 22. With immigration and the asylum system both more important priorities than climate change - despite the recent news regarding melting glaciers and temperature records - the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) is set to improve its vote share by 3,1 percent.
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