Most modern Brits have no idea about UK politics – and one in ten doesn’t even know where the Prime Minister lives, a study has revealed. The poll of 2,000 adults showed nearly two-thirds of adults’ rate their political knowledge as average to poor.

More than four in ten said their understanding was weak because they didn’t watch the news and didn’t want to read political stories.

Top clangers include one-third not knowing the difference between Ed and David Miliband and the roles they play in government.


One in ten didn’t even know what number Downing Street the Prime Minister lives at.

7% of those surveyed even thought ex-PM Gordon Brown was the current Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The research was conducted to mark the launch of the new series of Yes, Prime Minister series on Tuesday at 9pm on Gold, which found that 41% can’t keep up with government affairs as they change so frequently.


Steve North, General Manager of Gold, said:

”Some terminology and policies are obviously very complex but it’s worrying that so many adults don’t know rudimentary facts such as who the current Foreign Secretary is.

”It would seem people really struggle with government terminology and it’s a shame such a large proportion of the country are embarrassed by their lack of understanding.”

The poll found one quarter of respondents had no idea which party Ed Balls represents, while more than one third of adults could only name one to four British Prime Ministers.

Only 60% knew it was the chief whip’s job to keep party rebels in line.


Surprisingly one in twenty thought a chief whip was an MP who rode horses and 7% thought it was the head chef in Westminster.

When it comes to political jargon we have no idea either- when quizzed on terms such as MOD, GDP and FCO, many adults answered incorrectly.

Bizarrely, one in 20 thought MoD stood for Ministry of Deportation and 15% thought GDP thought meant Government Demands Priority (opposed to Gross Domestic Product).


When asked what a shadow cabinet was – more than one in twenty thought it was a dark grey piece of furniture and others said it was a meeting of disgraced politicians.

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15% didn’t know what a ‘white paper’ was.

Furthermore, only 82 % knew that William Hague was the Foreign Secretary – other answers given were Will-i-am, Teresa May and William Shakespeare.

One in five Brits had the good grace to be embarrassed by their lack of knowledge when it comes to current affairs, while 42% said they would like to improve their knowledge,

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