Five years of coalition government: public reactions and future consequences: summary

Document type
Curtice, John; Ormston, Rachel
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
1 January 2016
Social Policy, Education and Skills, Employment, Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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2010 saw the formation of Britain’s first coalition government since 1945. This summary of NatCen’s 32nd British Social Attitudes report takes stock of the public’s reactions to the last five years.

How have the public responded to the coalition’s radical programme of public service reform and spending cuts? Has the political upheaval associated with the rise of UKIP coincided with an increase in Euroscepticism?

As we enter another general election campaign, how is the political health of the nation?

Key findings:

  • The proportion favouring more taxation and more spending on health, education and social benefits has increased by just five percentage points, from 32% in 2010 to 37% in 2014.
  • While Euroscepticism is more prevalent now than it was before the Coalition was formed, and while a majority want either to leave the EU (24%) or for its powers to be reduced (38%), this majority is no bigger now than it was before UKIP’s vote began to increase in 2012.
  • NHS funding: while most people accept the NHS faces a funding crisis, there is little public consensus about how to address it.

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