New polling reveals huge public support for raft of reforms to improve standards in public life

4 minute read

28.07.2022

A new poll by J.L. Partners, commissioned by Spotlight on Corruption, finds that by huge margins all voters want to see wide ranging reforms to standards in public life. Support for change is strongest amongst those who voted Conservative in 2019 but no longer support the party.

Those reforms include(Support % –Public/Conservative voters/Conservative Defectors): 

The poll also found:

A majority of people say that their MP supporting stronger rules would make them more likely to vote for them (54%), 32% say no difference and 7% less likely. Conservative Defectors are disproportionately likely to feel that this would affect their vote (saying ‘more likely’ by a margin of 53 points)

Voters who left the Tories since 2019 strongly think the current regulators do not have enough power – 59% to 21%.

When asked which attributes people look for in a politician, the top attribute is Honest (20%), followed by “Can be trusted” (16%). ‘Honest’ scores even higher on 23% for Conservative Defectors

An MRP constituency-level analysis revealed:

   –  No constituency in the country thinks regulators have enough power

   –  Every constituency is more likely to vote for an MP who supports new rules

Spotlight on Corruption’s Executive Director, Susan Hawley, said:

“Ethics and integrity in public life are important for the functioning of government, but this research proves they are important to the public too. In recent years, our system for maintaining high standards has been tested to breaking point and voters are hungry for change. Our research shows people value honesty in their politicians more than anything else, and they want to vote for MPs who back change. 

All parties need to back an agenda to improve standards in public life. We need to build cross-party consensus on rebuilding trust in politics. This means greater independence and more powers for regulators, tougher rules on transparency and the revolving door between government and business, and clearer, fairer rules on public appointments”.

The poll also shows agreement with the following statements: (General public support / Conservative Voter support / Defectors):

J.L. Partners polled a nationally representative audience of 4,127 adults in Great Britain. Fieldwork took place between 13th – 20th June 2022.

The full tables are available at JL Partners