Welsh most politically apathetic and ignorant in Britain, study finds

A busy Queen Street in Cardiff. Picture by Jon Candy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The people of Wales are the least knowledgeable about and interested in politics in the whole of Britain, according to a new study published this week.

In its 15th annual Audit of Political Engagement, the Hansard Society reported only 34% of people in Wales said they ‘knew a fair amount’ about politics, compared with 52% across the UK.

The study also found that only 45% of people in Wales were interested in politics, compared with 57% across the UK.

Other findings included:

  • Only 23% in Wales were satisfied with the present system of governing the UK, compared with 29% across the UK.
  • Only 52% in Wales were certain to vote compared with 62% across the UK.
  • Only 24% in Wales felt that getting involved in politics was effective, compared with 34% across the UK.

Wales came bottom on every ranking apart from being satisfied with the present system of governing the UK, where Scotland was lower at 14%.

The level of knowledge about politics was higher in Scotland, however, at 56%, and interest was at 62%.

‘Downward trajectory’

“In contrast to Scotland, citizens in Wales remain much less likely to claim to be politically knowledgeable than in Britain as a whole,” the report said.

“For national decision-making, London stands out as having a much higher share of people feeling influential and wishing to be involved than any other part of Britain.”

51% of those in London felt that getting involved in politics was effective, and 41% were satisfied with the present system of governing.

The report identified the long-term deterioration across Britain with the system of government as its most worrying finding.

“Across Britain, the indicator has been on a slow, generally downward trajectory, with rarely more than one-third of respondents ever saying they are satisfied with how the system of governing Britain works,” it said.

“It has been a feature of this indicator that it is subject to few of the usual demographic disparities of age, gender and social class: all groups tend to have a broadly similar view.

“In Scotland, the deterioration in satisfaction across the Audit series is particularly marked.”


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