New polling finds three quarters of public say politics needs to improve significantly

Author:
Darren Hughes, Chief Executive

Posted on the 20th June 2024

Last week we had extremely concerning news about the state of our democracy. A significant study by the National Centre for Social Research found more people ‘than ever before’ ‘almost never’ trust the British government of any party to place the needs of the nation above the needs of their own political party.

The report concluded that: ‘All in all, it appears that people’s trust in governments and politicians, and confidence in their systems of government is as low now as it has ever been over the last fifty years, if not lower.’

In short, there is a crisis of confidence in our democracy. So, it was even more worrying when a poll of 2,226 people conducted by Savanta on behalf of the ERS found that a massive three quarters (76%) of the public feel that politics needs to improve significantly.

That figure is made up of 48% of respondents who said that politics needs ‘a great deal of improvement’ and 28% who said it could ‘be improved quite a lot’. Only 4% of respondents said politics currently needed no improvement.

While Conservative voters are less likely to say politics needs improvement, a majority (58%) of those still want to see change in the way politics is conducted. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority of those intending to vote for other parties, including Labour 78%, the Liberal Democrats 72% and Reform UK 96%, say politics in the UK needs a great deal or quite a lot of improvement.

The warning lights are flashing on our democracy

It is clear that the warning lights are flashing on the dashboard of our politics. It is imperative that we arrest this startling decline and rebuild trust in our democratic institutions as a matter of urgency. No project to repair the British public’s relationship with politics will succeed if it doesn’t reform our stuttering Westminster system.

Central to this is the distorting First Past the Post voting system, which doesn’t accurately represent the way the country voted with seats in Parliament. It also reduces the focus of the main parties to the handful of ‘swing seats’ that change hands at an election, meaning large parts of our country have been ignored and left behind by politics.

Restoring trust in Westminster is vital and has to start with bringing in a fairer proportional voting system for the Commons. This would reinvigorate the public’s relationship with our democracy by ensuring that every vote counts and every part of the country matters to whoever is in government.

Do you want a fairer proportional voting system?

Add your name to our call

Read more posts...

Ceredigion: Have your say on fairer elections

Ceredigion County Council have just taken the next step of their journey towards fairer elections by launching a consultation on changing the voting system at local elections. The consultation comes following the passing of a...

Posted 17 Jul 2024

Ceredigion - Have your say on fairer elections