POLITICS

Only 22% Of 'Disenchanted' Public Can Name Their MP, Amid Fears Of Record Low Turnout In 2015

15/05/2013 14:58 | Updated 15 May 2013

Only 22% of the public can correctly name their own MP research published on Wednesday has revealed, amid warnings the next election may see the lowest turnout in British history.

A study by the Hansard Society found just 41% of the public say they are certain to vote in the event of a general election, compared to 48% last year and 58% two years ago.

Ruth Fox, the director of the non-partisan Westminster based think-tank, said "the public are so disillusioned, disenchanted and disengaged from politics" that turnout could plummet.

Turnout in 2010 was 65.1% compared to a low of 59.4% in 2001. In the post-war 1950 general election by contrast, turnout was 83.9%.

The problem is especially acute among the young. Hansard found that only 12% of 18-24 year olds say they are absolutely certain to vote – compared to 22% last year and 30% two years ago.

Writing on The Huffington Post UK, Fox said: "It is widely supposed that if a person votes at an early age, the more likely they are to continue voting in future elections. So, if only one in eight first-time voters participate at the next election, the long-term prospects for the future of voting in this country could be severe."

In what will be depressing reading for politicians, only 22% of the public can actually name their local MP - compared to 38% two years ago (the last time this question was asked).

And just 23% of the public are satisfied with the way MPs are doing their job - down from 29% in 2010 when the expenses scandal would have been fresh in their minds.

Confusingly however, 34% of the public are satisfied with the way their own MP is doing his or her job compared to 28% in 2010 - despite only 22% knowing their name.

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