Published on 2 July 2024
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Is there a rural-urban divide in voting habits?

In the sprint to the UK General Election 2024, BBC Radio 4's Farming Today programme interviewed Prof Michael Kenny about research showing a gradient of disenchantment and distrust in democracy that increases as it moves from urban areas through suburbs, towns, villages, and out into the open country.

“One issue that I think is really interesting to think about is public services. There’s no doubt that worry about declining public services is something that everyone in this election, voters seem to be worried about… but there is a specific rural aspect to this because there is pretty clear evidence that rural voters are, and have been for some while, particularly affected by cutbacks in public services, not just in the UK but across Europe. And this challenge of providing good quality services in less densely populated areas is really very endemic now.”

Prof Michael Kenny, Inaugural Director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy

Listen to the interview (00:23 – 04:54)

Related reading:

Report: The urban-rural polarisation of political disenchantment: An investigation of social and political attitudes in 30 European countries

Blog: The urban-rural polarisation of political disenchantment in Europe

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

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