Today has commissioned ICM to conduct a poll on the current system for funding political parties in Britain. A summary of the findings is published below.
Question 1: Do you approve or disapprove of the present system of paying for political parties by collecting money from party members, businesses, trades unions and wealthy individuals?
Don’t know 19%
Question 2: Do you think the present system of paying for political parties makes people suspicious of politics and politicians or not?
Don’t know 6%
Question 3: Do you think the present system of party funding gives too much influence over party policy to rich individuals and big business or not?
Don’t know 10%
Question 4: Do you think that political party funding should come mainly from taxes or do you think it should remain as it is now, with funds from party members, businesses, trade unions and wealthy individuals?
Should come mainly from taxes 26%
Should remain as it is now 58%
Don’t know 16%
These results suggest that the system stinks but we are unwilling to pay taxes to fund a cleaner alternative. Perhaps, in part, this 'a plague on all your houses' response is due to the very low opinion of politicians at present. They have never been very popular but another poll this week marks a real low.
NOP for the ITN Powerhouse programme earlier this week found the following: 85% saying government ministers cannot be trusted to tell the truth; 83% saying leading Conservative politicians cannot be trusted to tell the truth; and 71% saying leading Lib Dem politicians cannot be trusted to tell the truth.
Political corruption - Jonty Bloom investigates.
Paying the Piper - Shaun Ley wonders how political party funding will change in the wake of Enron.