Home Society & Culture Lack of Trust in Politics Main Reason People Won’t Vote in Next UK General Election, According to Latest YouGov Poll

Lack of Trust in Politics Main Reason People Won’t Vote in Next UK General Election, According to Latest YouGov Poll

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A newly published YouGov poll reveals that more than half (52%) of UK adults who stated they would not vote in the next General Election cited “a lack of trust in politics generally” as their key reason. This finding highlights a significant erosion of confidence in the political system among the electorate.

According to the poll, an overwhelming 78% of GB adults do not trust MPs to tell the truth. This deep mistrust extends to the structure of the political system, with nearly a quarter (24%) expressing a desire to replace the House of Lords with a rolling citizens’ assembly. Furthermore, nearly 60% of British adults said they would trust members of a citizens’ assembly to make policy decisions in their best interests. Comparatively, only 12% trust MPs to do so.

The polling was carried out for the Trust and Citizens report, published today, 3rd June, by the Sortition Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to delivering citizens’ assemblies globally. The report marks the launch of the 858 campaign, which aims to replace the House of Lords with a rolling citizens’ assembly or House of Citizens.

James Robertson, Director of the Sortition Foundation, commented on the findings: “Rock-bottom trust levels will deter people from voting in the next election. The good news is that British people trust each other nearly five times more than their MPs to make decisions in their best interests. Citizens’ assemblies are a key way we can restore trust in our political system.”

The polling, conducted over two years, shows that replacing the House of Lords with a rolling citizens’ assembly is the most popular option for House of Lords reform (24%). This option surpasses other reform suggestions, including replacing it with an elected chamber (18%), abolishing it completely (14%), removing hereditary peers (11%), and replacing it with regional representatives (5%).

Robertson further stated: “Politicians make all kinds of promises at election time, but when they’re held to account by their cronies in the Lords, faith in them to deliver will remain low. A House of Citizens, selected like a jury, would ensure politicians keep their word and deliver for ordinary people.”

A citizens’ assembly is a group of people, selected to be representative of the UK population, who are brought together to hear evidence, discuss an issue, and reach an informed conclusion. The 858 campaign seeks to embed deliberative democracy, including replacing the House of Lords with a House of Citizens.

The poll provides detailed insights into the voting intentions of specific demographic groups. For instance, 15% of under-25s, 15% of C2DEs, 15% of those from the North of England, and 14% of those from the Midlands said they would be certain not to vote in 2016, compared to 8% of Leave voters who expressed this sentiment.

The polling data was collected online by YouGov between 13th and 14th May 2024, with a total sample size of 2,082 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults aged 18 and over.

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