politics.co.uk poll shows huge support for civil liberties

Britain: A police state?
Britain: A police state?

By politics.co.uk staff

A new poll for politics.co.uk shows massive support for civil liberties in the UK, and a deep-seated anger at government infringement of British freedoms.

The poll comes on a day of increased concentration on civil liberties, with the government seeking to renew its control order legislation and opposition to a clause in the coroners and justice bill granting government unprecedented access to individuals' medical records.

Asked if the government had got the balance right between freedom and security, 97 per cent of respondents answered 'no'.


A similar number responded that they felt their civil liberties were being infringed.

There was evidence of a deep suspicion of government statements framing the reform of civil liberties against a backdrop of an increased terrorist threat. The majority of politics.co.uk users said the threat the UK faced from terrorism was 'normal'.

Just ten per cent said the threat was 'very severe', 17 per cent described it as 'severe' and seven per cent said it was 'lower than usual'.

The Liberal Democrats were the clear front runners in terms of which party could be trusted with British freedoms. They attained 38 per cent support, next to the Conservatives on 28 per cent. Thirty four per cent of users said none of the parties could be trusted with civil liberties, and only a negligible number of respondents selected Labour.

The greatest public anger appeared to concern pre-charge detention.

Fifty-two per cent said habeus corpus was the most important right in Britain. Not having communications intercepted gained 17 per cent support, along with peaceful protest.

Passions were considerably milder over carrying an ID card, with only 14 per cent of respondents saying this was their primary concern.

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