State of the Nation – Findings from the Latest Wave of #TheQT

08/05/2017

Spring is in the air, and what better time to launch the latest wave of our quarterly consumer tracking study?

In this wave, we not only covered the usual State of the Nation topics, but explored fake news in some depth, gauged public opinion towards the impending General Election, and asked some more chirpy questions around the great British bank holiday!

So, what have we learnt since February?

Happiness has taken a nosedive since the early months of 2017, eroding by 7% points in the past quarter. This doesn’t appear to relate to money for once, as comfort on disposable income has remained steady vs the previous two waves in November and February.

There has been a seismic shift in confidence levels from the UK public. In February consumer confidence in the UK government was at 23%, but this has since jumped to 32%. In a similar vein, confidence in the UK political system has leapt by 8 percentage points to 26% versus February. Whether you’re happy about it or not, it looks like the triggering of Article 50, and the snap General Election have benefitted the government as it stands.

Election, you mentioned an election?

We did. A fifth of Brits feel that this election will improve the country’s current situation, with the most endorsement from the over 65s. Conversely, it is the 18-24s who feel most galvanised to vote, with 48% agreeing it is more important than ever to have a say.

There is a sense of uncertainty amongst some Brits, with women on the whole more confused than men about who to vote for this time round. The Scots are the most optimistic, with around half hoping this election brings about change, versus 1 in 3 Brits overall.

It looks like the promise of four new bank holidays isn’t enough to sway voters however. Only 5% said that they would be tempted to vote for the party who offered this as part of their manifesto.

This might seem surprising, when we learned from our research than 1 in 5 Londoners uses bank holidays as ‘life admin’ days. It became clear to us that the weather is a defining factor in planning a bank holiday weekend, with a quarter relying on the forecast to direct their itinerary. Finally, only 6% bother to plan their bank holiday in advance – and when you consider that 29% find it too stressful to travel over that period, no wonder!

In other (not so fake) news, we asked the British public their opinions on the rise of fraudulent or false news stories. It was clear that the older generation were most likely to find it difficult to navigate between real and fake stories, with over half of the 55+ having this issue. 71% of Brits feel that social media sites should be doing more to control the spread of fake news, and unsurprisingly only 1 in 10 Brits trust the articles shared on their social feeds by friends.

Londoners are the group most likely to seek out news sources they can trust, with 62% doing so, versus a national average of 53%. This is a hurrah for print and TV news broadcasters, with 2 in 5 trusting these channels ahead of what they see online.

What’s next?

The next wave of The QT will run in early August 2017. For more information on the study, the latest results or to add a question, please contact Frances.Revel@the7stars.co.uk

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