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ComRes surveys reveal countryside’s views on coalition

Of the 3,993 over 18s canvassed (794 of those living in rural areas)*, around half disagreed with the coalition’s planning reforms, two-thirds thought elected politicians were more interested in the thoughts of people living in large towns and cities than small towns and villages, while only 16 per cent of those living in rural areas thought the coalition’s policies were relevant to them.

Those living in rural areas were most likely to disapprove of government policies on fuel (70 per cent), transport and rural services (52 per cent) and planning (51 per cent).

Tim Bonner, Countryside Alliance director of campaigns, said: “We understand the difficult economic situation and the complications of coalition politics, but these figures clearly show that rural people perceive the government as being focussed on metropolitan concerns.

“The ComRes research also shows that this is not just an issue for the coalition parties but for the political class as a whole with two thirds of rural voters believing politicians are less interested in their values than those of people living in towns and cities.

“This is not simply about inequality in public spending, but a perception that the government does not always recognise the disproportionate impact that its policies on issues like fuel prices, transport and planning can have on the rural way of life.

“Both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives traditionally have a significant core of support in the countryside, but this polling alongside the county council election results shows that neither party can take the rural vote for granted.”

ComRes surveyed 2,053 British adults aged 18+ between May 1-3, 2013 (400 of them living in rural areas), and 1,940 British adults between May 3-6, 2013 (394 of them living in rural areas).

To read the full results of the two surveys click here

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