New research from Ipsos MORI finds that MPs are far more likely than the public to think they should use their personal experiences and principles to make decisions – 47% of MPs say that their own principles should be one of the most important factors in making decisions, while 8% of the public think this should be the case. Likewise, 26% of MPs believed that their own experiences should be one of the most important influences on their decision-making, while 6% of the public thought this.
47% of MPs think they should use experts to inform their decision making, but more MPs (61%) think they should use the views of their constituents. The public are equally likely to choose constituents and experts (both 43%) as the factors politicians should pay most attention to. Surprisingly, very few MPs (a survey result of 1%) believe they should pay most attention to their own researchers or civil servants.
When it comes to real action, MPs are most likely to recall using their constituents’ views to justify decisions they have made, with 8 in 10 MPs (80%) identifying this. This is followed by experts/academics (73%) and then their own principles (64%). In contrast, just around 1 in 10 (12%) members of the public think that politicians have paid most attention to their views as constituents. Instead, Britons feel that one of the biggest influences on MPs has been their own principles – 44% of the public think this is among the things that MPs pay most attention to.
Half of the public (52%) believe politicians are more likely to base their decision on what they think is right rather than on evidence. While 56% of MPs believe that their fellow Members of Parliament are open to evidence when making decisions, only 38% believe they are good at interpreting the evidence correctly. 36% believe their fellow MPs are poor at interpreting evidence.
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