Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2011: Core Module - Attitudes to Government, the Economy and Public Services in Scotland - Research Findings

The report uses SSA data from 1999 onwards to explore changing attitudes to government, the economy and public services. It also discusses findings on who people think should be responsible for providing and paying for particular public services.

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Changing attitudes to government

Attitudes towards the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament were significantly more positive in 2011 compared with 2010 across a wide range of measures:

  • More people said they trusted the Scottish Government 'just about always' or 'most of the time' to act in Scotland's best interests (61% in 2010, 71% in 2011)
  • More trusted the Scottish Government 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' to make fair decisions (35% in 2010, 46% in 2011)
  • People were more likely to say the Scottish Government was 'very' or 'quite good' at listening to people's views before taking decisions (45% in 2010, 56% in 2011)
  • The proportion who felt having a Scottish Parliament gives ordinary people more say in how Scotland is governed increased from 42% in 2010 to 60% in 2011
  • Similarly, people were more likely to feel the Scottish Parliament strengthened Scotland's voice in the UK (49% in 2010, 69% in 2011).

People were also comparatively more aware of the activities of the Scottish Government - 49% said they had heard 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' about these in the last 12 months, compared with 38% who said the same in 2010.

Attitudes to the UK Government remained more negative than views of the Scottish Government. For example, while 71% trusted the Scottish Government to act in Scotland's interests 'just about always' or most of the time, just 18% said the same of the UK Government.

Previous evidence from both the Scottish and British Social Attitudes surveys have shown that public views of government are often more positive in election years - an 'election bounce'. However, the size of some of the increases in positive attitudes between 2010 and 2011 was particularly marked. Perceptions of the Parliament in particular for the first time almost matched the (very high) expectations for the Parliament recorded in the 1999 survey.


Email: Linzie Liddell

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