Britons divided and pessimistic over future of the country - survey

Staff writer
Pro-Brexit Supporters Rally On The Day The UK Should Have Left The EU

According to a new poll from BritainThinks published in the Guardian, 69% of Britons are feeling pessimistic about the state of national unity and democracy. And while the roots of the causes runs deep, Brexit has been found to be leaving many Brits anxious and worried.

The polling research reveals that Britain has become more polarised and pessimistic than it has been for decades. The survey illustrates a disturbing picture of a country split by social class, geography, wealth and of course Brexit.

Some 75% say that Britain's political system is "not fit for purpose" and less than 6% say that politicians understand them. As the Brexit crisis continues and the Tories engaged in electing a new leader, only 21% of respondents believe, that no matter who is prime minister, that they will be up to the tasks facing the country.

【ギャラリー】Divided Britain23

Pollster Deborah Mattinson told the Guardian: "I have been listening to people in focus groups since the late 1980s and I cannot recall a time when the national mood was more despairing. 'Broken', 'sad', 'worried', 'angry'– the negatives tumble out, as does the long list of grievances. I'm hearing anxieties voiced in a way that I haven't heard since the 1990s: a rundown NHS, job insecurity, teacher shortages."

BritainThinks asked more than 2,000 people in addition to holding focus groups in London and Leicester. Around three-quarters of the public fear the divisions between Leavers and Remainers will get worse within the next year, as Britain faces the prospect of revoking Article 50 or crashing out of the EU. A further two-thirds of respondents said, they feel depressed by rising poverty.

Those who took part in the focus group sessions said they were "uncertain" and "worried" about the future. These were the two most commonly used phrases to describe respondents' feelings. The break down of local communities, job insecurity were all sighted as of equal concern across all generations. The causes are complicated and deep rooted and not all related to Brexit - some opted to blame immigration while others blamed a decade of harsh austerity.

While the national mood has turned darker with uncertainty over the solution to Britain's problems seemingly illusive, there was some positive news. Many Brits felt positive about their home life and personal relationships.