Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2007 Core Module Report 1: Attitudes to Government in Scotland
- Public perceptions of government in Scotland changed substantially across a range of measures between 2006 and 2007.
- The proportion who trusted the Scottish Executive to act in Scotland's interests 'just about always' or 'most of the time' increased from 51% in 2006 to 71% in 2007.
- Similarly, the proportion who trusted the Scottish Executive 'a great deal' or 'quite a lot' to make fair decisions increased from 31% to 47%.
- At the same time, trust in the UK government also increased - for example 35% trusted the UK government to act in Scotland's interests 'just about always' or 'most of the time' in 2007, up from 21% in 2006.
- In 2007, the proportion who thought having a Scottish Parliament gives ordinary people more say in how Scotland is governed outweighed (just) the proportion who thought it made no difference for the first time since 1999 (47% compared with 45%).
- The proportion saying having a Scottish Parliament gives Scotland a stronger voice in the UK increased from 43% in 2006 to 61% in 2007.
- 43% of people said the Scottish Executive was 'very' or 'quite good' at listening to people before taking decisions in 2007, compared with 36% in 2006. There was a gradual increase in the proportion saying the same of the UK government from 15% in 2004 to 21% in 2007.
- These shifts in attitudes between 2006 and 2007 were apparent across different social groups in Scotland.
- However, the increase in trust in the Scottish Executive appeared to be particularly pronounced among those with no qualifications and, to a lesser extent, among tabloid readers.
- Further years of data will be required to establish whether these findings reflect a short-term 'election bounce', or the start of a longer-term change in attitudes to government in Scotland.
- There was less change in public attitudes to standards in public services in the last year or the impact of the Scottish Parliament on public services between 2006 and 2007.
- Similarly, the change in the proportion who thought the Scottish Executive has most influence over how Scotland is run - from 13% in 2000 to 28% in 2007 - represents a slow but steady increase rather than a substantial shift from 2006 to 2007. However, far more people still said the UK government had most influence (47% in 2007).
- The average 'confidence score' with respect to the accuracy of official statistics was 5.43. reflecting the fact that most people fell between the extremes of complete confidence (10) and complete lack of confidence (0).
- Higher levels of trust in official statistics was associated with higher general social trust and higher political trust. The most common reasons for expressing low levels of trust in the accuracy of Scottish Executive statistics are personal experience, the belief that statistics are misrepresented or 'spun' by politicians and the belief that statistics do not tell the whole story.
Page updated: Friday, May 16, 2008