A survey by the Common Ground campaign shows that, contrary to popular opinion, Britain is a progressive country crying out for transformational change.
The research analysed over 1,800 data sources and found that the UK is an overwhelmingly progressive country calling out for bold solutions to the crises we all face.
It is often said that Britain is a conservative country. But the new report, published today, turns that received wisdom on its head.
The Common Ground researched the problems facing the UK, people’s level of concern about those problems, and people’s support for the possible solutions. Its aim was to establish where the political common ground lies amongst the British people. Then they filtered the solutions to find policies with more than 65% support from progressive voters and more than 50% of overall public support.
On what common political ground looks like in Britain, they came to important conclusions such as:
- 75% of voters want an ambitious Green New Deal for green jobs and infrastructure
- 65% of all voters want a £15 minimum wage
- 74% of voters want rent controls to help deal with the cost of living crisis
- between 65 and 69% of voters want nationalisation of energy, water, rail, buses and mail
- 78% want the NHS run in the public sector and 65% support tax rises to boost NHS funding
- 83% of all voters want free social care for the over-65s
- 64% want a national house building programme of 500,000 new homes a year
- 75% want to rewild at least 5% of Britain
- 63% want to see wealth taxes introduced and 65% support higher Income Tax on earnings above £100,000
- 68% support higher corporation tax and 87% want more done to reduce tax avoidance
- 82% of all voters want more power devolved to local areas across the UK
All these policies have absolute majority (above 50%) support amongst all voters, and super-majority (above 65%) support amongst progressive voters.
The support amongst progressive voters (defined as those who voted Labour, Lib Dem or Green in 2019) is around 5% higher for each policy on average.
The list of bold, transformative policies supported by the British public goes on and on.
Common Ground found that even supposedly radical policies like Universal Basic Income are supported by 59% of all voters (and 71% of progressive voters).
The new research shows that the British public is tired of the status quo and is demanding real change.
Furthermore, the study identified more than 250 ‘common ground’ policies in total with the research being made available on an open source basis.
Responding to the climate crisis is the area that produces the biggest consensus across the broadest range of policies. Left and right, it appears, are irrelevant in the face of the climate emergency. The areas with the least amount of common ground are migration and police and justice.
Another finding made by the campaign was that the difference between progressive and conservative voters isn’t as big as people have been led to believe.
The average support for the solutions in the study amongst progressive voters was 63% – yet the average conservative support was still high at 55%.
The researchers believe that the question for opposition parties isn’t whether voters support progressive policies, but rather which of those policies should be prioritised.
They found that there is considerable scope for opposition parties to unite around a bold, progressive agenda that delivers real change in people’s lives.
Commenting on the research and findings Jon Maiden, co-founder of The Common Ground, said that “we face a ‘perfect storm’ of climate inaction, social injustice and corrupted democracy. But we have plenty of solutions available to us to solve the problems we collectively face. All we lack is the political will. By uniting around the common ground we share, the British people can break through a stale political landscape and deliver real change for the common good.”
On the other hand, Simon Duffy, co-founder of Citizen Network, thinks that the UK “needs radical and progressive change and this Common Ground report shows that millions of people already support many of the changes we need. Our democratic system is asleep at the wheel and we hope a focus on our common ground will help us all wake up to the positive future we can create together if we leave the old broken politics behind us.”
And for James Lock, co-founder of Opus Independents, it is clear that everyone’s common ground “is not left or right, but forward. We all benefit from resolving issues like poverty and climate breakdown. We have no time for bickering, and it is now a survival imperative that we work together for the benefit of everyone.”
Information provided by Common Ground.