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.


Tim Bale
Professor of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London

Alexandra Runswick
Director, Unlock Democracy

Ruth Fox
Director, Hansard Society, and co-author of the 2017 Audit report

Joel Blackwell
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.

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