openDemocracyUK

Most British voters say political parties are corrupt

Brian Ahearne
5 May 2010

Over half of British voters (51%) say that political parties are corrupt. Research by ICM, conducted the day after the final leaders’ debate, shows that trust in political parties remains low, even following four weeks of intense campaigning.
 
The ICM survey also revealed that almost one in three (30%) UK voters wanted their MP to be independent of a political party. This puts the level of support for independents close to that polled for each of the three main parties.
 
More than one in four (28%) also thought an independent MP would represent them better in Parliament. 18 to 24 year old voters were the most likely to agree that political parties are corrupt, as well as the most supportive of independent MPs.
 
Many voters still can’t see the difference between the political parties at this late stage in the campaign. A new ComRes poll reveals that four in ten voters (38%) are still undecided about who to vote for.
 
The figure is even higher in marginal seats where almost half of respondents (46%) told the final Reuters/Ipsos MORI poll that they are still undecided.
 
The findings are supported by a survey for Transparency International  which surveyed 69 countries last year and that found political parties were viewed as the most corrupt institutions in society, ahead of the civil service, police, judiciary, parliament, media and private sector. Almost one in three (30%) British respondents selected political parties as the most corrupt institution in society, just ahead of the global average.

I work with the Independent network backed by former independent MP, Martin Bell. We think that the electorate must not be confused into believing that their vote is for a party leader on May 6th. They won't see the names David Cameron, Nick Clegg or Gordon Brown on their ballot paper. They are voting for a constituency MP, someone to represent them and their interests in the House of Commons. Politics in the UK will remain poisened until MPs are only guided by the considered evidence, their real world experience and expertise, their constituencies and their consciences - not a political party, pressure group or party whip.

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