Protect or deregulate? A review of public attitudes to regulation

What do British people really think about regulation? Do they believe that the country is burdened by too many rules? Are they concerned about the impact which ‘red tape’ is putting on UK businesses? Do they feel personally restricted by regulations?

Over the years, multiple studies have sought answers to these questions. In this note we set out some of the key insights from this body of research. We review work by a wide range of organisations, including polling companies, academics, government and think tanks. We also include research carried out by organisations which both lean towards more libertarian and more interventionist views.

A view from the Blue Wall: Attitudes to environmental protections in the shifting Conservative Heartlands

Blue Wall seats were once bastions of Conservative support. However, since the Election of 2019, there has been growing evidence that voters in these constituencies are looking elsewhere.  The surprise victory of the Liberal Democrats in both the Chesham and Amersham and North Shropshire by-elections hints at a political realignment. The recent local elections offered further evidence that those seats are no longer guaranteed to return Conservative representatives.  

This poll explores the attitudes of Blue Wall voters towards environmental protections. The findings strongly indicate that these voters are supportive of both action on the environment and the strengthening of key protections. These attitudes broadly cut across most criteria, including political affiliation, age and socio-economic status.   

Political parties that are seeking to strengthen their offer in these increasingly unpredictable constituencies therefore face a clear choice. Those that provide a compelling vision which sets itself high standards when it comes to protecting the environment are likely to be rewarded. Conversely, an offer that seeks to pit voters against regulation on the basis that this is the way to forge new trading links or tackle rising prices is likely to fail. This polling shows that this means strengthening and upholding the rules that are there to protect our environment.