Europe: Placement in Politics – Left or Right

In European Social Survey, the question asked interviewee to identify their placement in politics: Left or Right at the scale 0-10, 0 being far left and 10 being far right. The interviewees in the countries below gave the average score on their placement in politics, as shown in the graph below:

If 5 being the center line to separate the left or right political leaning, most of the countries in the list belong to center-right, and Finland being the most right country in the list (5.69 score), followed by Greece (5.67) and Denmark (5.51). On the other hand, people in Spain has the political-leaning more to left (4.41), followed by Germany (4.55) and Austria (4.61).

Next, the questions like “How happy are you?” and “Life satisfaction” were asked and scale of 1-11 was given: 1 being extremely unhappy/dissatisfied while 11 being extremely happy/satisfied. The overall score of happiness/life satisfaction according to placement in politics is depicted in the graph below:

From this graph, the result is showing that the happiness and life satisfaction scores are skewed to the “right” side. People at the right side of politics placement were seemed to be relatively happier and more satisfied with their lives. What would be the possible explaination of this observation?

Then, a set of questions on how these items are important in their lives were asked: family, friends, leisure time, religion, work and politics. Score 1-11 is given, 1 being extremely unimportant while 11 being extremely important. The graph below will show the summary of these scores according the placement in politics:

Both people in left of right political leaning show no major difference in terms of how family, friends or leisure time is important in their lives. However, it is seen that work is slightly more important for the people in the far right (scale 9-10) compared to others, although the difference does not count much.

The more apparent observation is made on the how people in left-right political leaning view the importance of religion in their lives: most of the people at the left do not think religion is that important to them (the score is around 4.6 to 5.3) while people on the right gave higher score (higher value on the importance of religion in life), as high as 7.42 for far-right group.

On the other note, the far-right or far-left people are consistent in terms of their viewpoint on the importance of politics in their lives. Both far-right/left political leaning score around 6.0 points while center (or moderate) people do not think politic is that important, with the score around 5.0.

Lastly, just to show the population distribution of interviewee who identify themselves in the politics placement, in raw/absolute number:

Most of the people identify themselves as center/moderate, while a quite balanced symmetry is seen across left-right scale of political placement.

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