Trustwatch 2024


Trust is fast becoming the poisonous undercurrent to the 2024 general election campaign. 

You hear it in nearly every question in every leader’s debates, you see it in the furious row over the parties’ spending plans. This is the context that the election is taking place in: one in which trust in politics is at crisis point. 

In our Trustwatch 2024 project, we are charting citizens’ trust in politics through the election cycle. 

By convening a 32-person “citizens’ conversation”, an ongoing panel of the public made up of ordinary people, we will be generating regular insights into attitudes towards political trust throughout the pre-election period. 

We will also use reactive instant messaging with participants, interviews and additional polling to further understand the public’s immediate reactions to the big election stories as they happen. 

So far, we’re hearing the difficult line politicians are treading in technicolour: they want politicians to level with them and be honest about the scale of the problems; but they also want hope. They want charismatic leaders; but they also want trustworthy managerialism. They want politicians to tell them the truth; but they are equally frustrated with the media narratives and interview techniques they feel is getting in the way. It’s an impossible line to tread.

Without trust, we cannot have a healthy, functioning democracy. We will therefore be reconvening our panel after the election to reflect on the extent to which politicians, the media and other actors have acted in a way that has engendered trust in the election, and what might be done to improve political trust going forward.

Read our initial briefing paper, which includes a full breakdown of our methodology: Trustwatch 2024: Live citizens’ verdict on the election campaign.

Read our rolling Trustwatch 2024 insights: