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UK public want political parties to make research funding a priority ahead of the GE

By December 15, 2023No Comments

Data released by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) demonstrates public appetite for more political focus on R&D.

The polling, carried out as part of CaSE’s Discovery Decade programme by research agency Public First in October 2023, also found that a majority (70% of 1,094) would support a proposal to build a new laboratory for carrying out R&D on their nearest high street.

Some 58% of 2,050 respondents said that funding research in the UK should be a high or top priority for political parties in the UK. However, when asked how much of a priority R&D was for the two largest UK-wide parties, just 38% said it was a high or top priority for the Conservatives and 39% said the same for Labour.

The latest polling builds on CaSE’s significant dataset exploring public attitudes to R&D, which has now surveyed more than 20,000 people over the last 18 months. This has shown that many people believe that R&D has an important role to play in tackling issues like the cost of living, climate change and improving the NHS.

A majority (71% of 2,050) of those surveyed would support the Government taking action to make the UK the best place for a company to set up a research department. A slight majority also stated their belief that the Conservatives are more likely to prioritise R&I than Labour.

Ben Kemp