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Evangelicals engage in politics 'more than the average person'

20 February 2015

DEMOTIX

Flipping: Conservative MPs David Burrowes (left) and Nick de Bois prepare for the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race for charity, contested between MPs & Lords and journalists, outside the Palace of Westminster, on Tuesday 

Flipping: Conservative MPs David Burrowes (left) and Nick de Bois prepare for the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race for charity, contested&nbs...

A SURVEY of Evangelicals has found that, although almost all those questioned said that they would vote in the General Election in May, more than a quarter did not know yet which party they would support.

The poll, by the Evangelical Alliance, suggested that Evangelicals were more engaged in politics than the average British person. Based on the sample, 78 per cent signed a petition in the past year, compared with nine per cent of the general population; and 57 per cent had contacted their MP or councillor - something that only two per cent of the population had done.

The figures come from the EA's report Faith in Politics?, which is based on a survey of 2020 self-selected Evangelicals in August and September last year. The group was also asked about what would affect the way they voted.

Ninety-four per cent of the respondents said that they were either certain or likely to vote, but 24 per cent said that they were undecided whom they should vote for. Twenty-three per cent said that Labour would get their vote; 21 per cent favoured the Conservatives; nine per cent, UKIP; eight per cent, the Liberal Democrats; and four per cent the Greens.

Half said that they would pray about whom to vote for, and 12 per cent said that they had been led by God to vote in a particular way.

The most common issue chosen was policies on religious liberty and freedom of expression, which, 71 per cent said, would have an impact on the way they voted. Also chosen by many as significant were policies that helped the poor, human trafficking, opposition to same-sex marriage, and being against euthanasia.

The numbers are based on an online survey conducted in September, completed by both members of the Alliance's regular panel, and people who responded to a social media appeal for responses. A total of 2020 responses - by those who described themselves as "evangelical Christians" - were included. A note on methodology in the report states that those recruited via social media were "somewhat different" from the regular panelists and were "far more likely to say they were interested and actively engaged in politics". The sample was 60 per cent male but the gender profile of UK churches shows a female majority. It was decided to present the findings "as a simple record of the data from evangelicals who completed the survey. We therefore need to add a note of caution against assuming that these figure are completely representative or able to predict how many evangelical votes will be cast for particular parties in the forthcoming general election."

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