Join the authors of the 2017 Audit of Political Engagement as they present their findings alongside a panel of leading commentators, and explore how one of the most consequential acts of democratic decision-making ever seen in this country has shaped levels of political engagement across the UK.
- As we go into an unexpected general election how politically engaged are the British public?
- Do they feel interested in and knowledgeable about politics? Are they more satisfied with our system of governing?
- Voter turnout in the EU referendum was high. Are there any other areas where people’s political behaviour is changing?
- Beyond voter turnout, has there been a positive ‘referendum effect’ on public attitudes to politics and Parliament of the kind witnessed after the Scottish independence referendum in 2014?
- And in just a few weeks we will be electing 650 MPs to Parliament - but what do the British public want from our MPs, and how well do they think Parliament has carried out its core functions in recent years?
This event is free to attend. Teas, coffee and light refreshments will be served from 8:45am.
Professor of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London
Director, Unlock Democracy
Director, Hansard Society, and co-author of the 2017 Audit report
Senior Researcher, Hansard Society, and co-author of the 2017 Audit report
Chair: Penny Young
Director, Participation, and Librarian, House of Commons
About the Audit of Political Engagement
The Hansard Society’s Audit of Political Engagement is the only annual health check on British democracy. Now in its 14th year, the study measures the ‘political pulse’ of the nation, providing a unique benchmark to gauge public opinion with regard to politics and the political process. Each Audit report presents the findings from a public opinion poll survey, providing detailed commentary on a range of measures that have been chosen as key indicators of political engagement. These indictors enable us to chronicle responses year-on-year and track the direction and magnitude of change since the Audit was first published in 2004.
The Audit of Political Engagement is supported by the House of Commons.
Enjoy reading this? Please consider sharing it
Should the Liaison Committee have as its chair someone who is not simultaneously a select committee chair, and should the identity of that person be determined by the government? The answer to these questions will tell us much about how this cohort of MPs, particularly government backbenchers, view the relationship between Parliament and the executive.
The Coronavirus crisis is spotlighting the importance of the House of Commons Chamber in our democratic life. 7-8 May marks 80 years since the Norway Debate, the event which demonstrated this most famously. Over two days of debate, MPs’ performances in the Chamber and a decision to force a division had historic consequences.
The extensive take-up of remote evidence-taking by House of Commons select committees during the Easter recess is a significant Coronavirus-induced change of practice. It shows how procedural and technological change can help support scrutiny.
Several parliamentary committees scrutinise delegated powers and delegated legislation. But what is the aim of this scrutiny, what standards are applied, and what are the value and limits of Parliament’s role in this aspect of the legislative process?
There will be gaps in a new House of Commons’ scrutiny of the government and engagement with the public until the events required at the start of a Parliament have taken place and all the necessary institutions and processes have been re-established. The length of time taken over procedures at the start of a Parliament therefore matters.
There have been many calls for Parliament to become ‘virtual’ during the Coronavirus pandemic, using remote working to ensure proper scrutiny of government during the crisis. But how should a ‘virtual’ Parliament operate?