Political, economic and social systems must overcome the considerable challenges associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. This health crisis is disrupting our lives and our relationship with others; it is affecting our emotions, our behaviours, our life plans. In this context, a public opinion study, collective representations and attitudes help to guide public action and encourage debates. It is also a way of contributing to the memory of an unprecedented event. This is why the Fondation pour l’innovation politique is a stakeholder in the international research programme entitled “Citizens’ Attitudes Towards Covid-19”. This research takes the form of a series of public opinion surveys conducted by Ipsos at regular intervals in twenty countries. The consortium of partners comprises the Agence nationale de la recherche (ANR), the Agence française de développement (AFD), Cerdi-CNRS, the World Bank, Cevipof (CNRS, Science Po), France Stratégie, IAST (Toulouse School of Economics, University of Toulouse), Hanover Universität, Harvard Business School, University of Montreal, McGill University, Università Bocconi, the European University Institute and the University of York.

This programme aims to provide an unprecedented monitoring of public opinion in the context of the Covid-19 crisis: feelings experienced, one’s relationship to health safety, acceptance or weariness regarding the protective devices put in place or public health recommendations, etc. These surveys should enable, on the one hand, a better understanding of the way in which different publics adapt psychologically to the measures of social distancing and, on the other hand, a better apprehension of consent in relation to the measures put in place.

This contribution focuses on data of the emotions reported by the French interviewees between March and May 2020, in a comparative perspective between twelve regions. Emotional levels are measured from responses to the question: “When you think about the situation regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) in France, do you feel… (on a scale from 0 to 10)” asked for three emotions: “fear”, “hope” and “anger”. For a given individual, an emotion is experienced when its response is between 7 and 10 on this scale (i.e. “yes”). The level of emotion corresponds to the percentage of people experiencing that emotion. A separate question is asked for each of the above-mentioned emotions: each respondent thus consecutively indicates the extent to which he or she feels fear, the extent to which he or she feels hope and the extent to which he or she feels anger. The French population has already been surveyed eight times, at intervals of two to three weeks. However, in order to guarantee the robustness of the regional samples, we decided not to take into account the data from 16 March and 1st-2 April, in the graphical representations and in our calculations as they did not meet the conditions for guaranteeing the regional representativeness of these samples. A ninth round of the survey was administered on the 22-24 May, its data are analysed page 13.

At the same time, we used data on the number of hospitalisations by region to compare the emotions reported in the twelve regions studied with the data concerning the fight against the Coronavirus.