Party manifestos are the groundwork for beliefs, short term goals and long term gains, but it looks like in the UK these long lists of promises and ambitions have little to no effect on citizens, as most people tend to not finish reading a manifesto before voting.
In a poll commissioned by 383, only 18 per cent of people had made it to the end of a political manifesto and half of the people that have finished the manifesto believe more reputable information can be found on social media, the web and newspapers.
The numbers are slightly skewed worse for women, with 46 per cent of female UK citizens polled claiming they have never read a political manifesto. That is higher than the 36 per cent of men that have never read a manifesto, although it seems like both have similar views on alternative information sources and usefulness of manifestos.
When asked why manifestos were not being read, 41 per cent of people said they were too long, 20 per cent of the people said the language used in the manifesto was too complex or uninteresting, forcing them away from the document before finishing.
On the bright side, eight per cent of people polled claimed that reading part or all of the manifesto made them more interested in politics. Sadly, that is the lowest number on the list, meaning a large amount of citizens feel no interest even after reading the proposal.
It seems like manifestos are not readily available enough either, with 24 per cent claiming even if they wanted to read a party’s manifesto, it wouldn’t have the faintest idea where to look for that sort of document.
It is a shame to see the manifesto brought down to little more than a complex and overly wordy piece of paper, but several political parties have used the manifesto to offer promises they could never fulfill and it is written with a narrative that is full of bias.
Having new free media sites and social media allows political parties to be heavily scrutinised for bad policies, instead of tucking them under the rug. It has made some reforms on the Lib Dems and The Green Party, both of which had rather unorthodox policies in 2013 which have since been removed or reduced.
This data coincides with the release of 383's free web-based tool MyManifesto, which has been created to get more young people engaged with politics.