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IFG - Trust in government growing - but it still needs to deliver

The months since the UK voted to leave the European Union have raised challenging questions about the nature of government, the leaders we want, and our faith in experts in a ‘post-truth’ age. Many have written about the divide between those who voted to remain in the EU and those who voted to leave.

But new polling published today by the Institute for Government challenges these assumptions. It shows:

  • More people believe politicians try to make government work well than they did in 2014, but they think that representing their constituency is low in their list of priorities.
  • People have not “had enough of experts”; they still want them involved in decision making.
  • Remainers and Leavers are both sceptical about whether government will deliver on key Brexit and domestic policies. 
  • People don’t want big announcements – they want to know how government things will get done.

Emma Norris, IfG Programme Director, said:

“Our polling suggests than for now, trust in government is growing  – more people believe politicians are focused on running government well than they did two years ago. But there is a lot of scepticism about whether the Government will be able to deliver on some key Brexit and domestic policies. This could fast dent public confidence unless government can prove people wrong.

“Our polling shows people care more about delivery than big announcements. So they will want more to know more about what key policies on the economy, immigration, public services and social mobility actually mean in practice and most importantly - how they will be delivered. ‘Brexit means Brexit’ might not cut it for much longer.”

The full findings are in a new report out today.

Notes to editors

  1. The full paper an be found here  – charts are available as separate image files upon request.
  2. The Institute for Government is an independent think tank that works to make government more effective.
  3. Populus interviewed 2,035 GB adults online between 31 August and 1 September 2016. Data is weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at
  4. For more information, please contact / 07850313791.

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