The survey found that 52% of all those polled said foreigners should have the right to vote in national elections after fulfilling a minimum residency period.
Foreigners in favour
Perhaps no surprise that the strongest support for foreigner voting rights was among foreign respondents themselves. Today, they make up almost 48% of residents. They can vote in communal and European elections provided they have lived in the country for five or more years. But, the only way they can vote in legislative elections is if they become Luxembourgers. In the survey, 62% of foreigners were in favour of foreigner voting rights after fulfilling a minimum residency period.
Luxembourgers changing tack
Among the Luxembourg respondents, 43% were in favour of foreigner voting rights with a residency clause. This comes in contrast to a 2015 referendum in which just 22% of Luxembourgers were in favour. At the time, the vote was seen as a protest against the new coalition government.
Foreign residents who have lived in the country for five or more years can choose to register to vote in their local communal elections. But not everyone does. Of the 108 respondents who didn’t plan to register for communal elections, over a third (35%) said the reason was a lack of interest in politics. The second most commonly cited reason was an objection to the compulsory nature of voting once a person had registered. This contrasts with the findings of a 2018 TNS Ilres survey in which 82% of foreign residents said they were interested in Luxembourg politics, despite the fact they were not eligible to vote.
Foreigners don’t need the passport to feel like Luxembourgers. Two thirds of foreign respondents said that they already felt Luxembourger, suggesting a connection with the country. There were similar levels when it came to feeling accepted. Some 67% of foreigners agreed this statement applied to them. Asti concluded from these findings that it showed positive levels of getting along and integration.