Love, Grief, and Hope: Emotional responses to death and dying in the UK
Madeleine Pennington and Nathan Mladin’s report examining emotional responses to death and dying in the UK. 27/11/2023
Scotland’s search for a new first minister has got lots of people discussing the role of religion in political leadership. We at Theos thought we would find out what people really think and commissioned a YouGov poll exploring what kind of religious identities and views the public thinks should on principle disqualify them from holding high office – if any. Here’s what we found…
Scotland is divided over whether or not opposing same–sex marriage should be a bar to political leadership, despite the majority thinking an evangelical Christian should be allowed.
This is according to a new GB–wide poll Theos has commissioned and which has been reported in The Times today.
Of the 163 adults from Scotland in the wider GB survey, 58% would support an evangelical Christian being allowed to hold a top government job. This was a higher percentage than those that thought the same in either England (52%) or Wales (52%). One in five (20%) of Scots would not support an evangelical Christian being allowed to take a top government job.
But when it comes to opposition to same–sex marriage specifically, Scotland’s split: 40% of Scottish people think opposition to same–sex marriage should be a bar to holding a top government job versus 44% who think it should not – it’s closer in Scotland than anywhere else in the country.
In general, more people in Great Britain (58%) would support people with a religious faith being allowed to hold top government jobs than would oppose (21%).
But when it comes to evangelical Christians in particular, people are less in favour of them being allowed to hold top political jobs than they are of Muslims.
Only half (53%) of people in Great Britain said they would support an evangelical Christian being allowed to hold a top political job, compared to 64% who would support a Muslim doing so.
One in five (19%) people said they would not support an evangelical Christian being allowed to have a top political job.
Nick Spencer, senior fellow at Theos, said: “Both the current SNP leadership race and our research show we have a complicated and perhaps slightly hypocritical attitude to religion in public life.
“On the one hand, most of us are happy to welcome it, even at the highest levels, in theory. But on the other hand, when that religious commitment entails unpopular, challenging or socially conservative views, we are much more hesitant. It all poses an awkward question to citizens of liberal democracies: how open and inclusive are we really?”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,008 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 22nd – 23rd February 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
– 50% of people in Great Britain say they would not support someone opposed to same–sex marriage being allowed to have a top political job
– One in four (26%) of young people (aged 18–24) would support someone who opposed same–sex marriage being allowed to hold a top political job
– Climate change is a significant issue for young people. The 18–24s were much more likely (68%) to oppose a climate change denier having a top political job. They would be much more likely to face opposition among this age group than a political candidate who would oppose abortion (62%) or same–sex marriage (56%)
1) Regardless of whether or not you believe with them, do you believe that people holding each of the following views should or should not be allowed to hold a top government job in the UK?
– Supportive of unilateral nuclear disarmament
– Supportive of gender self–identification
– Opposed to Brexit
– Opposed to same–sex marriage
– Would privatise the NHS
– Denies climate change
– Opposed to abortion
– Supportive of increasing levels of migration
– Being an orthodox Jew
– Being a Muslim
– Being a Catholic
– Being an evangelical Christian
2) To what extent, if at all, would you support or oppose people with a religious faith holding top government jobs?
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Image by Lirazelf on Wikimedia
The Theos Team
Posted 27 February 2023
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Theos researches and investigates the intersection of religion, politics and society in the contemporary world.