Scottish social attitudes: attitudes to government and political engagement, 2016
Survey results on attitudes to government, political engagement, economy, standard of living and the NHS.
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Scottish Social Attitudes 2016
Attitudes to government and the Scottish Parliament
- In 2016, 65% trusted the Scottish Government to work in
Scotland‟s best interests and 40% to make fair decisions,
down from 73% and 49% respectively in 2015.
Consistent with previous years, trust in the UK Government remained lower, at 25% and 18% respectively.
- For the first year in the time series, more people thought that the Scottish Government had most influence over the way Scotland is run (42%) than thought the UK Government had most influence (41%).
- Three quarters (75%) of people said that the Scottish Government should have most influence over the way Scotland is run. 14% said the UK Government should have the most influence.
- In 2016, the highest proportion over the time series said that the Scottish Parliament gave Scotland a stronger voice in the UK (71%). Similar to 2015, 59% said it gave ordinary people more say in how Scotland is governed.
Views on the economy and the standard of living in Scotland
- Helping the economy to grow faster was the most commonly chosen priority for Scottish Government action (28%).
- More than half of respondents (54%) said the economy had weakened over the past year, compared with 34% in 2015. 35% of those respondents attributed this to UK Government policy, 18% to Scottish Government policy and 37% to "some other reason"
- In 2016 36% said that the general standard of living in
Scotland had fallen over the past year, compared with 42% saying
this in 2015. 19% said the standard had increased.
Of those who had perceived a fall in living standards, 50% attributed the fallen standard to UK Government policy; 15% attributed this to Scottish Government policy, and 19% attributed this to "some other reason".
- Over two thirds (69%) of people said they had talked about the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum "a great deal" or "quite a lot"; 65% said the same of the EU Referendum. A lower proportion (34%) said the same of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections.
- 54% of respondents said they talked more about politics as a result of the Independence Referendum. 40% said it made no difference; 6% said it made them talk less about politics.
- Two thirds (66%) of people had engaged in at least one of a range of political activities in the last few years as a means of registering what they personally thought about an issue, a similar proportion to 2015.
- 91% of respondents said that voting in Scottish Parliament elections was very or fairly important. 87% said this of local elections and 84% of UK general elections.
Views on the National Health Service in Scotland
- The majority of respondents were satisfied with the way the NHS was being run in 2016 (60%), similar to 2013 and 2015.
- More than a third (37%) said that standards in the health service had fallen over the past year. Of those, 40% attributed this to UK Government policy, 25% attributed this to Scottish Government policy, and 18% attributed this to "some other reason".
- 13% said that standards in the NHS had improved. Of those, 54% attributed this improvement to Scottish Government policy, 16% to UK Government policy and 24% to "some other reason".
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