In every European country surveyed by YouGov, most people are looking forward to Christmas – but in France most people are not
Each month YouGov surveys seven Northern European countries, and on a range of issues consistently finds the mood in France to be more gloomy. There may be understandable reasons for this: economic growth has been weak, anxiety about immigration is high, and government approval is low. But some of these features also exist in other countries.
The latest EuroTrack survey uncovered the most striking example yet of this phenomenon. While majorities in every other country surveyed are excited about Christmas, the French are decidedly not.
The range of those looking forward to Christmas varies little among every other country surveyed – from 76% in Denmark to 67% in Finland. In Britain the number is 69%.
In France, however, most people (57%) say they’re not looking forward to Christmas. It is not that they are unusually cynical about Christmas: they’re as unlikely to say it’s their favourite time of year as anyone else, as likely to say the true meaning has been lost, and as willing to admit they feel under pressure to have a good time.
YouGov also asked people what specifically they are excited about this Christmas. In every European country spending time with friends and family is ranked first, and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ is ranked sixth.
Apprehension about Christmas is not new in France, however. In 2012 YouGov found that most people in almost every other country surveyed were excited, except in France, where only 28% were.