Last month the Constitution Unit published What Kind of Democracy Do People Want?, the first report of its Democracy in the UK after Brexit project. To mark the report’s launch, a seminar was convened to discuss its findings, their implications, and possible future avenues of research. The project’s research assistant, James Cleaver, summarises the discussion.
What Kind of Democracy Do People Want?is the first of four reports from the Democracy in the UK after Brexit project. It is based on a UK-wide survey conducted in July 2021 in partnership with YouGov, with a sample size of almost 6,500 people who were representative of the UK’s voting age population.
A panel of three speakers was convened to discuss the report’s findings: Professor Alan Renwick, Deputy Director of the Constitution Unit, who is leading the Democracy in the UK after Brexit project; Paula Surridge, Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology at the University of Bristol and Deputy Director of UK in a Changing Europe; and James Johnson, founder of J.L. Partners and former Senior Opinion Research and Strategy Adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May. The event was chaired by Professor Meg Russell, Director of the Constitution Unit and a Co-Investigator on the Democracy in the UK after Brexit project. The summaries below are presented in order of the speakers’ contributions. You can watch the event here.
Alan Renwick outlined the structure of the research project and summarised the report’s key results. He focused on three overarching findings: while there exists broad satisfaction with democracy, people have very little trust in politicians; most members of the public want politicians who are honest, have integrity, and operate within the rules; and people generally prefer not to concentrate power in the hands of a few politicians, but rather to spread it to parliament, non-politicians, and the wider public. You can read more about the key findings of the report, and how they compare with other studies, in a recent post on this blog.Continue reading