Poll: Half of Britons feel ‘powerless’ after 2016 events

TV historian Dan Snow who is a backer of More United. Picture: PA
TV historian Dan Snow who is a backer of More United. Picture: PA
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Almost half of Britons feel powerless following the events of 2016 and just one in five believe they are well represented by party politics, a survey has found.

The poll also found that almost a third felt the need to do something to change politics as a result of the year’s turbulent events including the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s US election win.

The study was commissioned by More United, a movement which aims to support candidates at elections who back liberal and inclusive values inspired by murdered MP Jo Cox.

The group, which has been championed by former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown, has raised more than £230,000 through crowd funding in three weeks as part of its plan to back would-be MPs - from any party - who support aims including promoting tolerance and openness and protecting the environment.

More United backer and TV historian Dan Snow said: “It is clear that there are many people across the UK who feel that party politics does not represent them. We are also cynical about our ability to really effect change.

“However, there’s a significant minority who are looking for a new way to become involved in politics, one that doesn’t require us to sign up for political party membership.

“I believe grassroots action, including crowd funding campaigns like More United, can change the status quo and deliver more progressive politicians to represent us.”

The Opinium poll for More United found 30 per cent of people “feel the need to do something to change politics”, but 52 per cent of people were put off by “tribal” politics and 48 per cent felt they did not have the power to change anything.

About 49 per cent said they would vote for a candidate if they were “confident” the politician shared their values - even if they were not from their preferred party.

Although just 9 per cent planned to join a political party, 20 per cent would consider backing a grassroots campaign, the survey indicated.

The study indicated that 41 per cent of those living in London and 40 per cent in north-east England were motivated to do something to change politics compared with a national average of 30 per cent.

A similar national proportion - 29 per cent - said they did not feel the need to change anything in response to the year’s political events.

The More United drive for donations through crowdfunder.co.uk has seen 6,000 people pledge money.

• Opinium polled a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults online between 13 and 16 December.