A survey commissioned by Ekklesia, and carried out my ComRes at the height of the MP's expenses scandal found amongst the voting population:
• 78% say independents should stand where MPs have behaved ‘unethically’
• 63% believe British democracy would be strengthened if there were more independent MPs
• 53% say they would ‘seriously consider’ voting for an independent candidate at the next general election
The survey showed that the public thinks independent candidates have a key role to play in bringing accountability to MPs in constituencies which are normally considered ‘safe’ seats.
The findings suggest that people can be re-engaged politically by local alternatives to ‘machine politics’, following disillusionment over MPs expenses.
Previously those outside the main party blocs have struggled under the first-past-the-post system, particularly in safe seats, but 53% said they would now ‘seriously consider’ voting for an independent candidate. The turnout for all candidates at the last general election was 61%.
The survey indicates that people would support independent candidates standing not just where MPs had been considered to have broken the rules, but where MPs had been judged to have behaved unethically.
You can read the full survey results on the ComRes website here: