Survey Finds Local People More Interested in the Economy Than Politics

Local people are more interested in economic issues than political issues, according to new research commissioned by NICVA.

The research, carried out by Ipsos MORI, also found that when deciding what party to vote for, more people were interested in the economic policies of our local parties than their stance on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom.

68% of respondents said economic policy was important when considering what party to vote for, and 56% said constitutional issues were important.

In relation to who they would trust with the economy, respondents were most likely to trust voluntary and community groups (73%), followed by the business community (55%). Respondents were least likely to trust the Northern Ireland Executive (39%)

Seamus McAleavey, chief executive at NICVA said, “Little is known about the public’s views on the economy, in order to find out more about public attitudes in this area we commissioned this survey.

“From it we can see that people here are interested in ‘bread and butter’ issues; how much money they have in their pocket, how their taxes are being spent and what the local parties are doing to develop sound economic policies.

"We were also pleased to see that 73% of the respondents trusted the voluntary and community sector to promote good economic policies."

While trust in local parties to promote good economic policy was generally low, respondents did believe that devolution had had a positive impact, with 54% agreeing and only 15% disagreeing.

In terms of where people felt their political views lay on the traditional left-centre-right spectrum, the research found that only 25% described themselves as being to the left (14%) or the right (11%) with the majority not categorising their views in this way. Similarly, respondents didn’t tend to group the political parties in terms of ‘right’ or ‘left’ politics.

In relation to devolving more taxation powers to Northern Ireland, 43% were in favour of this and 25% did not agree with it. 

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