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Audit of Political Engagement 9, Part One

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The Audit series provides a statistical context to everyday speculation about the state of political engagement. In doing so, the Audits indicate the degree to which attitudes and behaviour change year-on-year and allows a fuller picture of participation and interest in politics. The Audits present the findings from public opinion polling on a range of political engagement indicators, updating trends published annually since 2004.

The Audit considers six core indicators of political engagement:

Knowledge and interest: (1) the percentage of people who feel that they know about politics; and (2) the percentage who report an interest in politics.
Action and participation: (3) the percentage of people who report they are absolutely certain to vote at an immediate general election; and (4) the percentage who are politically active.
Efficacy and satisfaction: (5) the percentage of people who believe that getting involved works; and (6) the percentage who think that the present system of governing works well.
It also examines the public's reported levels of discussion of politics, charitable and political donation, and contacting of elected representatives.

Published in: News & Politics
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Audit of Political Engagement 9, Part One

  1. 1. Dr Ruth FoxMatt KorrisHansard SocietyProf. Gerry StokerUniversity ofSouthamptonChair: Fiona Booth
  2. 2. 2011 – A momentous year Audit of Political Engagement 9 2
  3. 3. The public’s response... disgruntled disillusioned disengaged Audit of Political Engagement 9 3Photo: bengoldsberry, eBaumsworld
  4. 4. Propensity to vote Mean propensity to vote (out of 10)Audit 1 Audit 9(2004) (2012) Audit of Political Engagement 9 4
  5. 5. Certainty to vote to in 2011 in 2012 Audit of Political Engagement 9 5
  6. 6. Why don’t we vote?...you’ve got all thesereality shows thatget folk to vote...everybody is caught Why are you going to takeup with the idea of time out of you day to govoting… They’re and queue or whatever, tohappy to vote put a cross by somebody, that possibly you don’t know who they are....and then they’re not even going to do what they say they’re going to do... Audit of Political Engagement 9 6
  7. 7. Interest in politics to in 2011 in 2012 Audit of Political Engagement 9 7
  8. 8. Knowledge of politics to in 2011 in 2012 Audit of Political Engagement 9 8
  9. 9. Discussed politics fallen to just in 2012 ...started to get desensitised to it all…I started to stop watching it and stop listening to it... I try to avoid it…I don’t see the implications on myself. It’s all too confusing. I don’t understand it – I ignore it. It’s just on the news all the time... Audit of Political Engagement 9 9
  10. 10. What about Parliament?Two in five claim to know at least a fair amountabout ParliamentTwo in three agree that Parliament is ‘essential todemocracy’And one in two agree that Parliament deals with issuesthat ‘matter to me’ Audit of Political Engagement 9 10
  11. 11. What about Parliament?Only three in ten believe Parliament encourages publicinvolvement in politics….and fewer people are signing petitions Proportion who have signed a petition (%)Audit 1 Audit 9(2004) (2012) Audit of Political Engagement 9 11
  12. 12. What about MPs? ...the way they behave a lot of the time, you know, shouting out. Much of it seems quite immature School playground nursery classroom Audit of Political Engagement 9 12
  13. 13. But despite our dissatisfaction with MPs…One in four (25%) would turn to their MP in theevent of a problem, e.g. with local health servicesLower than your doctor/GP (44%)BUT above: • Friends/family 16% • Local advice service/CAB 14% • Local council 14% • Local councillor 13% • Ombudsman 8% • Media 4% • Lawyer/solicitor 3% • Parliament 1% Audit of Political Engagement 9 13
  14. 14. Which roles and functions do people value? Representing UK’s national interests Representing views of local communities Holding government to account Representing views of individual citizens Scrutinising new laws Representing views of interest groups Audit of Political Engagement 9 14
  15. 15. System of governing in 2012 just agree in 2004 thought the system of governing Britain worked extremely or mainly well Audit of Political Engagement 9 15
  16. 16. The one thing the public can agree on is thatgetting involved at a national level will makelittle difference ... we should be more like the French in standing up for our rights only think getting involved can help change the way the country is run Audit of Political Engagement 9 16 Photo: © BBC
  17. 17. Local involvement is seen differently... think getting involved in their community canIn your make a differencelocal area …but only 56% 38% 24% inclined to actually 32% 33% 13% do somethingIn thecountry aswhole ...how is that going to help when other people have already tried and nothing’s changed. Audit of Political Engagement 9 17
  18. 18. Declining commitment to voluntary work in 2012 just said the same in 2010 had done some voluntary work Audit of Political Engagement 9 18
  19. 19. What other changes have taken place over time? Born Audits Audits As people born 1979-19851979-1985 1&2 8&9 become older: Knowledge of politics Interest in politics aged 0 aged 18-25 aged 25-32 Certain to vote Political efficacy Approval of system Audit of Political Engagement 9 19
  20. 20. What other changes have taken place over time? Audits Audits 1&2 8&9 The later generation of aged 18-25 18-25s Knowledge of politics Interest in politics aged 18-25 Certain to vote Sign petitions Political efficacy Approval of system Audit of Political Engagement 9 19
  21. 21. What other changes have taken place over time? Audits Audits The later generation of 1&2 8&9 25-32s: Knowledge of politics Interest in politics aged 25-32 Political efficacy Approval of system Certain to vote aged 25-32 Audit of Political Engagement 9 19
  22. 22. Conclusions • A fairly grim picture this year – disgruntled, disillusioned and disengaged • A blip or the start of a trend? • What would the public like to see change? How does this relate to the coalition government’s political reform package? Audit of Political Engagement 9 20
  23. 23. Dr Ruth FoxMatt KorrisHansard SocietyProf. Gerry StokerUniversity ofSouthamptonChair: Fiona Booth

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