Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Friday, 27 November 2009

53% of people can name their MP

The BCS (The Chartered Institute for IT) has published some research today as part of their "Savvy Citizens" campaign which aims to help people get more from Information Technology.

They conducted a survey which asks various questions. The one that they clearly think is the most headline grabbing is the fact that:

Shockingly, just 53% of Britons can name their MP

Of course I wish it were higher but is that really so shocking? We know that the turnout at the last general election was only just over 60% and that in each seat usually less than 50% of those actually voted for the MP. We also know how few people take an active interest in party politics. Viewed in that way it could actually be seen as encouraging that more than half of UK citizens can name their MP.

There is some other interesting information in the survey:
  • 83% want information about government and public services to be more freely available
  • 48% have visited their local council’s website
  • 31% have signed an on-line petition
  • Only 5% are members of on-line discussion boards
As an IT professional myself it is encouraging to see the BCS taking an interest in these sort of stats relating to politics and people's engagement with it through IT.

1 comment:

Steve said...

Is it shocking in that most people thought it'd be more? Or is it shocking in that voters should know?

I must admit if I'd have guessed the figure I would have gone lower - probably around 30%.

It raises the question, what percentage of people should know who their MP is? Is 70% acceptable? 80%? 100%?