The UK public is increasingly disenchanted with the government. A long-running survey of attitudes to politics shows that 63% of respondents agreed that “Britain’s system of government is rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful.”
Faith in the political system has reached a record low, for the 16-year history of the Hansard Society’s annual audit of political engagement. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they believed Britain was in decline, almost three-quarters saying the system of governance needed significant improvement.
Experts say that suspicion of politicians, coupled with an economic downturn, could be fertile ground for a far-right populist surge, particularly if establishment political powers continue to undermine leftist populist movements.
Alarmingly, the study showed most people agreed that “Britain needs a strong ruler willing to break the rules,” 54% agreed, only 23% said no. 42% of respondents agreed that many of the country’s problems could be better dealt with “if the government didn’t have to worry so much about votes in parliament.”
The survey used face-to-face interviews with more than 1,000 people making up a representative sample of the population. The survey found that only a quarter of people had confidence in the government’s handling of Brexit, with people more likely to have faith in the military, TV broadcasters and banks to “act in the public interest.”
Photo: “Queen Elizabeth to be evacuated in case of Brexit unrest” by Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0