Friday, 17 May 2013

Voter Apathy looms large.

In interviews with 1,128 people the BC found that found that 22% of people could name their own MP, compared with 38% in 2011.

Which is somewhat odd in that for the vast majority its the same person . Though the 2011 result came after one year after a General Election its a big drop and suggest few MPs have a close link with the electorate and the much vaunted argument that First Past the Post (FPTP) enhances any link does nit hold water.

The report suggests many people were "disenchanted" with politics, with the proportion saying they would not vote doubling from 10% in 2011 to 20%. 

The public's self-declared likelihood to vote is the lowest recorded since the audit series began 10 years ago.

This may be confusing in that the turn out at the 2010 General Election had a Turnout of 65.1% and saw a rise . It looks like turnout may depend on whether there's a possibility that there may be a change in government.

1974 Oct72.872.676.674.867.7
1974 Feb78.879807969.9

Source: House of Commons Research Papers 01/37, 01/54, 05/33 & 10/36.

For many people there would appear to be no point in voting if the party they supported had no chance in winning .Only votes in a marginal seats count for a huge number of voters their votes a re irrelevant as they would not count . A Labour voter in Surrey for instance will probably never see their candidate elected  the same thing goes for a Tory in the Rhondda

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1997 General Election

Even the 1997 General Election with the Labour Landslide left the South East of England largely blue

However despite the best efforts of Politicians it is clear that a great deal of the public are disengaged totally from politics 

Despite the prominence of the eurozone crisis and the debate on the UK's EU membership

  •  57% of people did not correctly identify the fact that Britons elect members to the European Parliament.
  • 33% of people believed peers were elected.
  • 41% of the public say they are certain to vote in the event of a general election, compared with 48% last year and 58% two years ago
  • 12% of 18-24 year olds say they are absolutely certain to vote - down from 22% last year and 30% two years ago
  • 58% of people are still not prepared to vote even "if they felt strongly enough about an issue"
  • 23% are satisfied with the way that MPs generally are doing their job - compared with 29% in 2010.

Some of the figures bucked the trend and revealed closer engagement
  • 47% of the public say they would like to be involved in local decision-making - up from 38% from last year
  • 47% also agree that Parliament "holds government to account" - again up from 38% last year.

Which is worrying but  it suggest that people are not engaging in pol tics and that  we need to find a way to get more people engaged .

Perhaps we can't  but a change in the voting system to STV may make peoples vote more relevant and therefore engage them more.It may wel be that it suits Labour in the Tories not only to have FPTP but also to have those who might vote against them not bother to do so.

I suppose the problem  I share with those who read this Blog  is we can't understand how people don't share our interest . I bet you all can name your MP.

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