Public attitude towards politics worsening, says Hansard survey

 
House of Commons Hansard said the public's view of the coalition government was "worrying"

Related Stories

The public are "disgruntled, disillusioned and disengaged" with politics, according to an annual survey by the Hansard Society.

Interviews with 1,163 people found that only 42% were interested in politics - down from 58% last year and the lowest since the survey began nine years ago.

Only 24% believe the current system of coalition government is working.

The number of people volunteering has fallen from 29% in 2010 to 21%, despite David Cameron's Big Society project.

The political engagement audit is carried out annually by Hansard.

'Momentous year'

The society said "the public's growing sense of indifference to politics" had "hardened into something more serious".

The survey found that:

  • 42% of people said they were interested in politics - down 16% on 2010 and the lowest figure since the audit was first carried out
  • 48% of people said they would definitely vote if a general election was called tomorrow - down 10% from last year and again, the lowest figure in the audit's history
  • 30% said they were unlikely or absolutely certain not to vote - up 10% from 2010
  • 24% of people believe the current system of coalition government is working "reasonably well" - a fall of 7%
  • 56% agree their involvement in politics locally could bring about change, but only 38% actually want to be involved

The audit also uncovered variations in attitudes according to political party allegiance.

While just 29% of Liberal Democrat supporters thought the coalition was working well - down 4% from last year - 56% of Conservatives were happy with it, a rise of 10%.

Dr Ruth Fox, director of the Hansard Society's parliament and government programme, said: "2011 was one of the most turbulent and momentous years in recent history, but it appears that the economic crisis, the summer riots and phone hacking did not lead to any greater interest in or knowledge of politics.

"The public seem to be disgruntled, disillusioned and disengaged. Thus far, coalition politics does not appear to have been good for public engagement.

"Worryingly, only a quarter of the population are satisfied with our system of governing, which must raise questions about the long-term capacity of that system to command public support and confidence in the future."

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 426.

    Whenever my MP's name is mentioned on local news it is almost always followed by "was unavailable for comment".

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 425.

    After labour mucked it up big time by lies and being silly, now we have the coalition doing the same thing, so is it any wonder that people have lost interest in a system that keeps the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.
    Also the system for unemployment and for getting jobs needs to be overhauled quickly, agencies are a nightmare in most cases.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 424.

    It doesn’t matter what values a person may have when entering politics, they will be corrupted by the system or fail. A good Trade Unionist must accept and be party to the corruption of their Union masters just as the good Tory must accept and be party to the corruption of business. At grass roots level Britain is corrupt, politians reflect and protect their own patch of self interest.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 423.

    Double-Dip...what a joke, it's been one long dip for years now.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 422.

    Every MP would rather sell their soul than have a no confidence vote against their Prime minister.Tony Blair and labour is the prime example of Mp`s hanging by their finger nails from a cliff top to keep their seat in parliment and allow the wars in iraq and aftghanistan instead of a no confidence vote to rid the country of the war mongering Tony Blair.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 421.

    I suggest getting rid of party politics altogether. Individulas should run for specific jobs within government. There should be a website which details who all candidates are, their experience, what they hope to achieve and how they are going to do it. No other promotion other than working the streets answering questions.

    Their promises should then be legally binding with no deviation.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 420.

    For reference www.hansardsociety.org.uk/files/folders/2950/download.aspx and http://pa.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/1/188.extract

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 419.

    Democracy is important, but strong government is even more important. I'm happy to live with a government that is prepared to take difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions, because we have the option of voting them out at the next election if we don't like what they're doing. It's a system that has served us well for hundreds of years, and long may it continue.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 418.

    Why don't we scrap our current system and start a republic

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 417.

    The Double-Dip Recession is only a problem for 99% of us.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 416.

    Of course people feel disengaged - so few voted Tory yet we still get a Tory government, Lib Dems broke the first promise they were asked to keep, and Milliband won't even support the Unions (some of his biggest supporters). Career politicians have more in common with each other than the voters. If they don't start to engage, extremism will rise.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 415.

    I have been eligible to vote since 1982. No one I have ever voted for in a Westminster election has ever got in. Therefore my vote in UK elections has always counted for nothing. My vote does count for something in the Scottish Parliament. It's not just the house of Lords that needs reform its the whole UK system that is not fit for purpose.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 414.

    Are there any other cynics out there wonder why this thread has been removed from the BBC News front page?Attracting too many intelligent but anti-politician comments? BBC playing politics??

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 413.

    We must protect our democra.cy and I believe that one way to do this is to make manifestos in some way binding and any major deviation would need either a new election or referendum. At the present time we all feel that we cannot believe a word we are told by politicians

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 412.

    The only thing that needs to be re-engaged with politicians is a boot up the backside

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 411.

    We live in a shades of grey society, caused by politicians without any personal convictions who pander to opinion polls and media pressure. No surprise that the people have lost interest. Most of our legislation comes from Brussels and the worlds banks have more influence on the economy than our politicians who now have little more to do than tinker in social engineering.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 410.

    The main reason behind people's disinterest in politics is the political class. The party politicians lie all the time. You can not trust any of them from any party. Their only skill is being devious, never answering any questions directly. All for fear some marginal voter will take against them and they lose out on power and big pay and expenses. Keep them out of the Lords!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 409.

    394. ichabod
    6 MINUTES AGO
    I get hacked off that immigrants from a large number of countries get IMMEDIATE voting rights in council elections

    -As EU citizens we all get the same rights this applies for example to the 600,000 UK nationals living in Spain, and the 500,000 UK nationals living in France in EXACTLY the same way.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 408.

    If politicians make a slip in an interview they get ridiculed, if they admit to doubt or uncertainty they get called weak, if they admit a mistake or that something is not what they thought pre-election they get slated for breaking promises. If we don't want career politicians, we shouldn't expect them to present a perfect public image all the time.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 407.

    UK Politics is Britains Got Talent on a bad night

    I will only be voting at the Independence Vote

    The Independence Vote will be the only vote I will cast in my 50 years of being a British Citizen which will make a genuine difference to my life

    I just missed the EU vote around 1975

    Good luck everyone

 

Page 1 of 22

 

More Politics stories

RSS

Features

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814


  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea


  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?


  • Children testing a bridge at a model-making summer school in Crawley, West SussexSeeding science Watch

    The retired professor who turned village children into engineers


  • Krouwa Erick, the doctor in Sipilou town at the border of Ivory Coast and Guinea - 27 August 2014Bad trip

    The Ebola journey no-one in Ivory Coast wants to take


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.