12 May 2010

Does it Matter Which Party Holds the DFID Brief?

So its official, the UK has a new Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government.

Who will be the new Secretary of State for International Development? Will it be a Conservative or a Liberal Democrat? No announcement yet.

But will it matter which party leads on International Development?

I have already noted the many areas of agreement between the 3 main parties on international development (see Manifesto Watch).

Now a survey of 1000 British adults in March from nfpSynergy reports that supporters of the three main parties have very similar preferences towards giving.

When asked which type of charities "have you given money to in the last 3 months" 29% of the Lib Dems and Labour supporters reported yes for international development, with 25% of the Conservative supporters doing the same.

On giving to environment and conservation charities, the Lib Dems are the clear leaders (11%), with Labour on 8% and the Conservatives on 6%.

On climate change, over 90% of supporters from all 3 parties expressed an awareness of the issue and over 80% of all three express awareness of the issues relating to hunger in Africa.

This cross-party support--at the supporter and party levels-- is encouraging and a testimony to DFID's ability over the last 13 years to make the case for international development.

We shall see how this broad agreement plays out when it comes to the hard spending choices in the emergency budget set for July.

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