• Public opinion in the post-Brexit era: Economic attitudes in modern Britain [PDF]
  • By Matthew Elliott & James Kanagasooriam
  • October 2017
  • Published by the Legatum Institute


Key findings

The findings are based on a landscape poll conducted at the end of the summer by Populus, which indicates that the majority of the British public:

  • Favour public ownership of the UK’s water (83%), electricity (77%), gas (77%) and railway (76%) sectors (Fig. 3.2a, p.15)
  • Believe taxes should rise to provide more funding for the NHS (Fig. 3.3b, p.19)
  • Support higher levels of regulation (Fig. 3.3a, p.18)
  • Favour wage caps for CEOs (Fig. 3.4a, p.22)
  • Favour worker representation at senior executive and board level (Fig. 3.4a, p.22)
  • Support the abolition of zero hour contracts (Fig. 3.3a, p.18)
  • Hold an unfavourable view of ‘capitalism’ as a concept, viewing it as ‘greedy’, ‘selfish’ and ‘corrupt’ (Fig 3.1a, p. 9)
  • Hold a more favourable view of ‘socialism’ than ‘capitalism’ (Fig 3.1f, p. 12)

Commenting on the report, the Legatum Institute’s Matthew Elliott said:

“The findings of our polling are concerning for anyone committed to the principles of free enterprise. Competition entrepreneurship and free trade are all essential to achieving prosperity, not to simply generate profit for businesses, but to extend opportunity to all.

“Whilst for many the result of this year’s General Election came as a shock, our polling points to a deep undercurrent of frustration which has been fermenting since the financial crisis.

“It is clear that those of us who believe passionately in free enterprise need to up our game. We need to redouble our effort in the battle of ideas, because populist thinking has a superficial attraction and we need to better articulate the case for free enterprise, which is the most effective path to prosperity.”

Read the paper here.