Government, Politics and Civic Participation
The Scottish Government has a wide programme of policies that affect everyone living in Scotland. Although these powers are constrained by the current devolution settlement, it still accounts for more than £30bn per year of public spending on some of the most fundamental services we use.
Despite the government pursuing this broad range of policies, the current parliamentary session is likely to be dominated by the planned forthcoming referendum on whether Scotland should become an independent country. This issue will be at the centre of political debate in Scotland for the next few years and is likely to attract significant attention from across the world as voters decide in the crucial ballot.
While most of the public are likely to be engaged by the referendum debate, the Scottish Government also recognises the greater challenge of trying to encourage the public to participate more fully in the design and delivery of public services. The 2011 ‘Christie Commission’ report set out the importance of public engagement in meeting one of the Scottish government’s key national outcomes, to ensure that all public services are ‘responsive to local people’s needs.’ Ipsos MORI’s regular work across these issues makes us the principal source of research information on social and political life in Scotland.
As well as the research we conduct across all areas of government activity (outlined in other sections of the site), our quarterly Scottish Public Opinion Monitor provides analysis on the major social, political and economic issues of the day, allowing policy makers and commentators to understand the mood of the Scottish public both at the time and historically. This regular survey has become a much anticipated and valued contribution to measuring the public mood across a range of issues, gaining particular attention in recent times as the referendum on independence draws nearer.
We have also been at the forefront of identifying the public’s desire to be more involved and engaged in a range of settings. This includes attitudes to being more involved in public services, how social housing tenants can ensure their landlords respond to their priorities and how the public can be encouraged to make wider use of the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions system.
We regularly disseminate the findings from our political research using data visualisation techniques to present data and through writing articles, blogs and thought pieces for a range of publications including The Times, The Guardian, Total Politics, The New Statesman and Holyrood Magazine.