It’s time for political parties to step up with a clear mandate for building trust

14 June 2024 | Chris Morris

Following a busy week of manifesto launches, Full Fact analysis can reveal that none of the parties likely to play a role in the next government have put forward measures to meaningfully tackle misinformation in politics or to regulate political advertising.

This is not what the general public wants. 

Findings published today by Full Fact and Ipsos Mori can reveal that three-quarters (75%) of UK adults expect misinformation to have at least some impact on the General Election result.

Chris Morris, CEO - Full Fact, 14th June 2024.

The survey paints a picture of a highly distrusting electorate sceptical of the information circulating in our political conversation and also of politicians themselves—approximately half (54%) say they tend to ignore what parties and politicians say because they don’t know if they can be trusted. 

Alongside these findings, Full Fact’s petition to end deceptive campaign practices such as leaflets made to look like newspapers or fixed penalty notices—has gathered nearly 18,000 signatures, demonstrating considerable desire for parties to commit to running cleaner, more honest campaigns. 

The survey found that many UK adults are affected by misinformation in their everyday lives:

  • Thinking about news and current affairs, less than half (44%) find it easy to tell the difference between true and false information that they see online, and about one in three (34%) admit to having falsely believed a news story was real until they found out it was fake
  • A quarter (25%) are worried that their own political opinions are based on false or misleading information.

Results indicate that such commonplace experiences of misinformation could have a corrosive effect on political participation in the UK. Thinking about the upcoming General Election:

  • 54% tend to ignore what parties and politicians will say because they don’t know if they can trust them.
  • 38% have been put off voting by the level of false or misleading claims in current politics or the previous election campaign; among younger adults, this rises approximately to half (52% of those aged 18-34). 

The survey also shows clear majorities in favour of more robust action to enforce honesty and transparency in political communications: 

  • 88% of UK adults think that accuracy of factual claims in political adverts should be a legal requirement
  • 71% support political parties adopting a set of standards for honesty and transparency in manifestos.


We have assessed all the manifestos of the parties most likely to enter government found that commitments to clean up politics do not match the scale of public support:

  • The Conservative Party manifesto makes just one commitment to “improve standards in local councils by making their performance more transparent through the Office of Local Government." 
  • The Labour Party manifesto commits to improving standards in public life through a "clean-up that ensures the highest standards of integrity and honesty", including the introduction of their long-standing call for an independent Ethics and Integrity Commission. But further detail on the scope and powers of this Commission—such as its role in handling misinformation and political advertising—is urgently needed. 
  • The Liberal Democrat manifesto goes furthest, by including a number of promises to improve honesty and transparency, including to work “towards real-time transparency for political advertising”. It also commits the party to “pushing for a global convention or treaty to combat disinformation and electoral interference.”

None of the parties listed above have signed Full Fact’s pledge which would have committed them to ruling out using deceptive campaign practices during the election campaign. The Liberal Democrats, despite their manifesto commitments, have ruled out signing the pledge. 

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The public deserves a parliament that puts accurate information and higher standards in public life at the forefront of their agenda. We will work with whoever forms the new government to continue to work for a more honest and transparent politics.

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