New Populus research underlines the mismatch between people’s most pressing concerns and that of politicians.
Populus conducted a survey of 114 MPs, both frontbenchers and backbenchers, from all the main political parties, between May and June 2019, to find out which issues concern them the most and which areas they feel they are making headway on. We then asked a nationally representative sample of 2,078 people the same question about MPs, between 28 and 30 June 2019.
The research highlights the large disparity between MPs’ priorities, and those of the wider population. For example, when it comes to health, the UK people are twice as concerned about the NHS (60%) than politicians are (27%).
The vast majority of UK politicians cite Brexit (83%) as their biggest concern. Just under half say housing (43%) is a concern followed by benefits, including Universal Credit (30%).
When asked what their most pressing concerns are, people put the NHS (60%) just ahead of Brexit (58%) followed by crime (32%) and climate change (31%). The public is twice as concerned about climate change (31%) as politicians are (15%).
While headway is limited on all areas of concern, people think that MPs are making more headway on climate change than cuts, benefits and poverty.
Labour MPs are more concerned about benefits and housing than Conservatives, while the reverse is true regarding transport/roads
The majority of all MPs are concerned with Brexit. However, over half of Labour MPs cite housing (55%) and benefits such as Universal Credit (60%) as their top concerns. Around a fifth (21%) of Conservative MPs cite transport/roads as one of their most concerning issues, compared with just 7% of Labour MPs who say the same.
Commenting on the research, David Racadio, Head of Syndicated Stakeholder Research at Populus, says:
“The latest Populus research is evidence of the gap between MPs’ priorities and those of the wider population. While MPs have the daunting task of delivering Brexit on their hands, life for many people around the country goes on. Policy areas that affect everyone such as health, crime and climate change emerge as the top priorities for the public.”