United Kingdom business and IT leaders have been left confused, uninspired and uncertain by the main political parties’ policy agendas for digital Britain, according to a study conducted by international technology public relations firm Hotwire and its CPR public affairs operation. The survey found that only 6 percent of IT and business leaders are extremely confident that politicians can deliver on the Digital Britain Bill, while 34 percent said none of the political parties have the ability to put the U.K. at the forefront of digital technology.
Despite exhaustive coverage and commentary, only 20 percent of those surveyed for the Hotwire and CPR report claim to have a strong understanding of the main political parties’ digital policies, while 18 percent claim to have no understanding. Asked how confident they were in politicians to deliver what is required to put the U.K. at the forefront of the digital technology, 60 percent said they were either not at all confident or not confident, and only 6 percent felt extremely confident.
Asked to choose between which of the political parties has the capacity to put the U.K. at the forefront of digital technology, over a third of those surveyed said “none of them”. The Conservatives were ranked the most likely political party to put the country at the forefront of digital technology with 30 percent, followed by the Liberal Democrats with 22 percent, and Labour trailing with only 14 percent.
According to Rebecca Honeyman, associate director, Hotwire U.K. and joint author of the white paper, “There is no question that digital innovation must play a vital role in breathing fresh impetus into the UK economy. Yet, it is frustrating that there appears to be a disconnect between what we want and believe should happen, and the absence of any shared belief that we can make it happen. Given the intellectual resources and heritage the U.K. has in digital innovation, it is troubling that we find ourselves in this quagmire.
“The fact a third of respondents felt no party has the capacity to put the UK at the forefront of digital technology highlights a clear political void that must be filled.”