Essential Report

Attitudes to politics

Oct 8, 2012

Q. Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each of the following statements:

 

Total Agree

Total Disagree

Strongly Agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly Disagree

No opinion

Political action can change the world

74%

16%

20%

54%

12%

4%

11%

There is a difference in the values of the major political parties

66%

25%

17%

49%

21%

4%

10%

I have never attended a political event

66%

26%

37%

29%

16%

10%

8%

All politicians are basically the same

53%

39%

14%

39%

30%

9%

7%

I have strong views about politics

47%

43%

13%

34%

30%

13%

10%

I have attended a political rally or meeting in the 3 years

12%

80%

4%

8%

25%

55%

9%

I am, or have been, a member of a political party

11%

80%

3%

8%

24%

56%

9%

A vast majority of respondents believe that ‘political action can change the world’ (74%).   A majority also believe that ‘there is a difference in the values of the major political parties’ (66%), state that ‘I have never attended a political event’ (66%) and believe that ‘all politicians are basically the same’ (53%). In terms of political activity, only 12% of respondents had attended a political rally or meeting in the last 3 years and only 11% are, or were, a member of a political party.

Looking at the results by age, older respondents are more likely to agree that ‘political action can change the world’ (83% total agree 55-64 and 65+).  Those aged 65+ are also the most likely to agree that ‘there is a difference in the values of the major political parties’ (82% total agree).

Older respondents are also more likely to consider themselves as having strong views about politics, with 53% of those aged 55-64 agreeing with this statement and 63% of those aged 65+ agreeing. Attendance of political rallies or meetings declined with age, with respondents aged 18-24 the most likely to have attended a rally or meeting (17%), moving incrementally down at each age bracket to 6% of respondents aged 65+.

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