Poll reveals anger over politics

Halstead Gazette: Young voters are put off politicians by MPs such as Denis MacShane, who was jailed for expenses fraud Young voters are put off politicians by MPs such as Denis MacShane, who was jailed for expenses fraud

The depth of the electorate's frustration with the political class has been laid bare in a poll.

Research by ICM for the Guardian found the overwhelming feelings about politics among 18-24 year olds were boredom and anger - with 34% saying the former and the same proportion the latter.

Among those who rate their chance of voting as four or lower on a 10-point scale, 41% said anger was their main reason, compared to 40% who said they were bored.

After ex-Labour minister Denis MacShane was jailed for expenses fraud, 46% said they were discouraged from voting because "MPs are just on the take".

But only 2% of the electorate regard the inconvenience of registering and actually casting a vote as a reason not to do so - suggesting ideas such as weekend elections or electronic voting are unlikely to improve the situation.

The public also still appears to believe that politics matters. Some 86% said the "decisions politicians make" were either "very important" or "fairly important" to their own lives.

Some 62% claimed to discuss "politics or the sort of issues affected by politics" with friends and f amily at least once every fortnight, and 29% said they did so at least "every few days".

:: ICM Research interviewed an online sample of 2023 adults between December 20 and 22.

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