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Will Levelling Up meet voter priorities?

04 October 2021
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DWF's YouGov survey examines the views of voters in England's North and Midlands. Read about the key findings in our report. 

In June 2021, DWF worked with YouGov to understand the views of residents in the North and the Midlands and published this report 'Will Levelling Up meet voter priorities? ' which identified clear priorities centring on safety and security, job security, and improving local high streets.

This year we re-contacted many of those residents to see how attitudes towards Levelling Up and their local area have changed over the past year.

Take a look at our latest report: Is Levelling Up cutting through? 

At the UK's 2019 General Election, the Conservative Party manifesto set out an ambition to help spread economic success and opportunity to those parts of the country that missed out in the past, in particular the North and Midlands. The Government has now made 'Levelling Up' a core agenda item but face the challenge of translating a big picture promise into effective policies. 

To achieve this, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Michael Gove as the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities supported by a team including former Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane and Neil O'Brien, who is leading on the Levelling Up White Paper which is expected to be published in October 2021.

What do voters actually think about Levelling Up?

In this report we assess whether the promises around Levelling Up will match what voters in the Midlands and the North actually want. We commissioned YouGov to undertake a unique survey of 1094 adults living in unitary and combined local authorities in the North and Midlands in June 2021.

On 22nd September 2021 we invited a panel of regional and local government stakeholders to discuss the results. Their views are shared in the report.


Download report

DWF supports the Levelling Up agenda

DWF has expertise in precisely the areas where the Government’s Levelling Up is most focused. This includes helping to deliver regeneration projects in every part of the UK, from Spaceports in Cornwall to the “world-leading” Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen. Our work in designing inward investment projects, delivering public funding programmes and meeting the related compliance requirements (such as Subsidy Control and Public Procurement) means we understand the importance of the levelling up agenda, but also the steps which need to be taken for it to be as effective as possible.

We believe that the goal of Levelling Up is to spread economic prosperity and opportunity to every part of the country is a worthy objective. However delivering the concrete improvements that are needed will be no easy task. We hope that this research will help all those involved whether at national, regional, or local level to understand the priorities of those whose lives could be improved if Levelling Up delivers on its promises.