1. ITV Report

What do Londoners know about politics? Not much it appears

Do you know where laws are made in this country? Photo: ITN

A new poll has found that many Londoners don't understand the powers that politicians have over our lives.

The research for the Centre for Policy Studies found that just over half of Londoners didn't know that an elected mayor can make or enforce laws in the capital even though we've been choosing mayors ever since 2000. Amongst the mayor's powers are making and enforcing planning decisions as well as the laws that govern London's transport system.

What powers does the London mayor have? Credit: ITN
  • 49% - The mayor makes or enforces laws
  • 30% - The mayor does not make or enforce laws
  • 21% - Don't know
What powers does the EU have? Credit: ITN

After two years of Brexit debate in the news, the EU fared slightly better in the poll with more than half knowing that it makes laws such as safety standards or pollution limits.

  • 59% - The EU makes or enforces laws
  • 12% - The EU does not make or enforce laws
  • 28% - Don't know
What powers do MPs have? Credit: ITN

MPs in the House of Commons did the best in the poll though there are a third of us who don't know they decide on most of our laws

  • 67% - The House of Commons makes or enforces laws
  • 7% - The House of Commons does not make or enforce laws
  • 26% - Don't know

This new polling illustrates the extraordinary size of the problem our politicians are facing. The British people are simultaneously sceptical of government and largely ignorant about it. That is hardly a recipe for a healthy democracy.

– Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies