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Poll suggests growing levels of trust in government – but it needs to deliver

Despite the uncertainty generated by the historic vote to leave the European Union on 23 June this year, new Populus opinion polling for the Institute for Government reveals that people are relatively hopeful about government.

The Institute for Government report Trust in government is growing – but it needs to deliver is based on the results of our poll and sheds light on public attitudes towards politicians, dispelling certain myths about how the public view government.

Below are some of the key findings.

Public are now more likely to believe politicians prioritise making government work well than they were in 2014

While the EU referendum campaign involved its fair share of political mudslinging, our research shows that this negativity has not been damaging to the public’s confidence in politicians, as one might have predicted. In fact, the public is more likely to believe that politicians are focused on the right things than they were in 2014: 8% more people believe politicians are prioritising the implementation of policies that are best for Britain and 7% more say that they are prioritising taking long-term decisions.

However, getting best value for tax-payers and representing local constituencies are areas that the public believe politicians are not paying more attention to than they did two years ago.


Experts should still play a role in decision making

Since the referendum, it has been suggested that citizens no longer believe experts have a place in difficult political decision-making. Our polling, however, reveals that a sizeable 85% of people want politicians to consult professionals and experts when making decisions, while 83% want government to make decisions based on objective evidence. Both figures have increased since 2014.

The results indicate that it is not time to abandon evidence-based policy-making. In fact, there is increasing public demand for the government to demonstrate that their policies are grounded in evidence and expert advice.

Public are sceptical about whether the government will deliver key Brexit and domestic policies

While the public generally are more likely to believe that politicians prioritise the implementation of policies that are best for Britain, there is some scepticism about whether the Government will deliver key Brexit and domestic policies. Unsurprisingly, Leave voters are overall more confident that the Government will make better decisions.


Read the full report for further findings.

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