Socialism 'more popular' with British public than capitalism, survey finds

Small majority of people have a positive view of the left-wing ideology

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 24 February 2016 00:52 GMT
Socialism is more popular with the people - despite Jeremy Corbyn's poll ratings
Socialism is more popular with the people - despite Jeremy Corbyn's poll ratings (Getty Images)

British people prefer socialism to capitalism, a new survey has found.

A study by YouGov has found that British people are more likely to have an unfavourable view of capitalism than of socialism as an ideological concept.

Despite polling earlier this month showing Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party were ten points behind the Conservatives the survey of nearly 4,000 British adults found a small majority of people have a positive view of socialism.

36 per cent of people said they view socialism favourably as opposed to 32 per cent who view it unfavourably. This gives socialism a favourability rating of +4, while capitalism achieved a favourability rating of -3 (39 per cent unfavourably against 33 per cent favourably).

The survey found the only age group to view socialism unfavourably are the over 60s with 46 per cent having a negative view of it, compared to 30 per cent in favour.

The support for the ideology in the UK follows a similar trend in the US where socialism is growing in popularity after years of being treated with suspicion because of its connection to the Soviet Union and the Cold War.

Online editor at YouGov, Will Dahlgreen said: “Compared with May 2015, socialism has significantly boosted its reputation among young Americans. In May it was viewed favourably by net +5 among young people, compared to net +17 less than a year later.”

The financial crisis and growing inequality have detented popular approval of capitalism in the last few years, especially among the young.

Despite this, only a few more people define themselves as socialists than as capitalists (19 per cent and 16 per cent respectively, or 20 per cent and 14 per cent among young people) and most people (48 per cent) do not define themselves as either.

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