Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A worrying graph

I was alarmed to see on twitter this bar chart showing the percentages of various parties' supporters agreeing with the statement that "when people criticise my party it feels like a personal insult."

The chart was shared in the context of a discussion about the SNP who are indeed notoriously thin-skinned and who are the only party for whom this figure tops 50%.

However, none of the parties have a figure lower than 20% - the lowest is the Lib/Dems at just over 21%. The next lowest percentages are for the Conservatives, Plaid, and Labour, all in the twenties - I suspect the parties which have been part of UK governments are sufficiently used to criticism that we find it easier to take than some others do, but only in relative terms.

The figures for UKIP and the Greens are over a third.

I find even the range of 20% to 25% (between a fifth and a quarter) of party supporters treating criticism of their party like a personal attack, the current range for the Conservatives, Greens and Lib/Dems,  to be worryingly high.

UKIP and the Greens have a serious problem if this British Election Study survey is accurate and the SNP have a very serious one.

I have no idea how we encourage people to be more laid back about disagreement and criticism, but I think it's rather important that we do.

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