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An Audi. Photo from Audi, France

How the French vote according to which car they buy

A car can be a voting indicator: Renault, Audi, Toyota... the French vote according to the car they purchase.

Published: December 12, 2019, 1:37 pm


    An Ifop study pointed to a correlation between buyers’ brand of cars and how they vote.

    The choice of gasoline, the brand of the car… French car habits say a lot about their way of choosing their leaders and, more generally, their political opinions, says Jerome Fourquet, director of the Opinion department and corporate strategies of Ifop in a study for French magazine Le Point.

    Thus, among those with a Toyota, 30 percent said they voted for Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the presidential election. They are 28 percent for Renault, 26 percent for Volkswagen and 25 percent for Citroën.

    Those who have an Audi, voted more for Marine Le Pen in the first round (30 percent) and François Fillon (28 percent). Some 28 percent of Mercedes users also chose the candidate from the right (26 percent for Audi). Voters with an Opel were 26 percent to have preferred Marine Le Pen and 28 percent Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

    Why, for example, would a Toyota regular be more inclined to vote for the current president? Because the company offers many hybrid vehicles (Prius, Yaris, Corolla) and “meets the requirement to reduce its CO2 emissions, particularly shared in urban areas,” writes Le Point.

    The average voter who supports Emmanuel Macron, precisely, usually lives in a city of around 100 000 inhabitants and is sensitive to environmental subjects. “By pushing the description, we can say that the Toyota is the car of a class which is rather affluent, modern, urban and trendy,” Jerome Fourquet explained.

    The study revealed other data, also very telling: motorists who depend on their car, voted more in the presidential election for the leader of the National Rally, while those who were not dependent opted more for the other candidate. This trend was also seen two years later, in Europe.

    Similarly, “there are socio-economic considerations in the choice of fuels: most modest households tend to equip themselves with diesel because it is cheaper,” explains Jérôme Fourquet, who continued: “In addition diesel has often been sold as being suitable for heavy rollers, so there is a bigger choice of diesel in rural areas. And there, you can see at the top of the charts the ‘Yellow Vests’.”

    Ifop’s study shows that “the larger the municipality in which we live, the less we choose diesel, and vice versa,” Le Point noted. Diesel users voted more for Marine Le Pen (25 percent) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (22 percent) than for the so-called parties “of government”.

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