Britons divided and pessimistic over future of the country - survey

Pro-Brexit Supporters Rally On The Day The UK Should Have Left The EU

According to a new poll from BritainThinks published in the Guardian, 69% of Britons are feeling pessimistic about the state of national unity and democracy. And while the roots of the causes runs deep, Brexit has been found to be leaving many Brits anxious and worried.

The polling research reveals that Britain has become more polarised and pessimistic than it has been for decades. The survey illustrates a disturbing picture of a country split by social class, geography, wealth and of course Brexit.

Some 75% say that Britain's political system is "not fit for purpose" and less than 6% say that politicians understand them. As the Brexit crisis continues and the Tories engaged in electing a new leader, only 21% of respondents believe, that no matter who is prime minister, that they will be up to the tasks facing the country.

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A view of apartment blocks on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London, Britain, December 30, 2015. Oliver Letwin, British Prime Minister David Cameron's policy chief, apologised on Wednesday after a newly released memo from 30 years ago revealed he had blamed poor morals in the black community for the 1985 riots in the Broadwater Farm estate and said any investment would be wasted on discos and drugs. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Bedding belonging to a homeless person lies in a nook in Moorgate in the City of London, in London, Britain, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner SEARCH "TURNER HOMELESS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A view of the Broadwater Farm estate in north London, Britain, December 30, 2015. Oliver Letwin, British Prime Minister David Cameron's policy chief, apologised on Wednesday after a newly released memo from 30 years ago revealed he had blamed poor morals in the black community for the 1985 riots in the Broadwater Farm estate and said any investment would be wasted on discos and drugs. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wipes his forehead as he delivers a speech at the Policy Exchange in London, Wednesday Feb. 14, 2018. The Foreign Office says Johnson will use a speech Wednesday to argue for "an outward-facing, liberal and global Britain" after the U.K. leaves the bloc. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May looks on, during a visit to the Portmeirion pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. May is due to make a statement in the House of Commons on Monday afternoon, a day before lawmakers are due to vote on her EU divorce deal. May argues that defeating the deal could open the way for EU-backing legislators to block Brexit. (Ben Birchall/PA via AP)
Anti-Brexit demonstrator Steve Bray stands in front of a banner held by pro-Brexit demonstrators near Parliament in London, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. Just days away from a no-deal Brexit, European Union leaders meet Wednesday to discuss granting the United Kingdom a new delay to its departure from the bloc. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
An anti Brexit protester with placards, stand in the rain as they demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Tuesday, April 2, 2019. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is set for long Cabinet meeting Tuesday, as the government tries to find a way out of the Brexit crisis, after lawmakers on Monday rejected all alternatives to her European Union withdrawal agreement. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Pro-Brexit leave the European Union supporters attend a rally in Parliament Square after the final leg of the "March to Leave" in London, Friday, March 29, 2019. The protest march which started on March 16 in Sunderland, north east England, finishes on Friday March 29 in Parliament Square, London, on what was the original date for Brexit to happen before the recent extension. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Pro-Brexit protesters stand near police after their rally in Westminster, London, Friday, March 29, 2019. Pro-Brexit demonstrators were gathering in central London on the day that Britain was originally scheduled to leave the European Union. British lawmakers will vote Friday on what Prime Minister Theresa May's government described as the "last chance to vote for Brexit." (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Pro-Brexit protesters clash with police after their rally in Westminster, London, Friday, March 29, 2019. Pro-Brexit demonstrators were gathering in central London on the day that Britain was originally scheduled to leave the European Union. British lawmakers will vote Friday on what Prime Minister Theresa May's government described as the "last chance to vote for Brexit." (AP Photo/ Frank Augstein)
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage arrives on stage to speak at a rally in Parliament Square after the final leg of the "March to Leave" in London, Friday, March 29, 2019. The protest march which started on March 16 in Sunderland, north east England, finishes on Friday March 29 in Parliament Square, London, on what was the original date for Brexit to happen before the recent extension. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Pro-Brexit leave the European Union supporters attend a rally in Parliament Square after the final leg of the "March to Leave" in London, Friday, March 29, 2019. The protest march which started on March 16 in Sunderland, north east England, finishes on Friday March 29 in Parliament Square, London, on what was the original date for Brexit to happen before the recent extension. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks at a rally in Parliament Square after the final leg of the "March to Leave" in London, Friday, March 29, 2019. The protest march which started on March 16 in Sunderland, north east England, finishes on Friday March 29 in Parliament Square, London, on what was the original date for Brexit to happen before the recent extension. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)
A pro-Brexit protester holds onto placards as he demonstrates near the House of Parliament in London, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. British Prime Minister Theresa May's government says Parliament's decision to take control of the stalled process of leaving the European Union underscores the need for lawmakers to approve her twice-defeated deal. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Grafitti covers a discarded sofa as it lies on the pavement outside a boarded up house in Liverpool, northern England September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY POVERTY REAL ESTATE BUSINESS)
Homeless people on the High Street in Windsor, Berkshire. Local council leader Simon Dudley controversially called on police to clear rough sleepers from Windsor before the royal wedding. Picture date: Thursday April 5th, 2018. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.
UK Uncut protesters demonstrate outside a branch of the HSBC Bank in London's Regent Street where they created temporary food banks highlighting the 500,000 people who now rely on food handouts.
Alex Antelme, 45 year old barrister, making tea and coffee as he volunteersat Wandsworth Foodbank, St Mary's Church, south London. The number of people using food banks this Christmas has tripled compared to last year, according to a charity which runs 400 across the UK.
Guests including the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Roger Gifford (C), Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne (2nd L), and Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King (3rd R), are served food at the 'Lord Mayor's Dinner to the Bankers and Merchants of the City of London' at the Mansion House in London June 19, 2013. Britain is ready to start selling its shares in Lloyds Banking Group and will examine whether to break up Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) , Finance Minister George Osborne said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Oli Scarff/POOL (BRITAIN - Tags: BUSINESS FOOD)
Bedding and possessions belonging to Jimmy, aged 51, lie in the subway near Waterloo in London, Britain, December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mary Turner SEARCH "TURNER HOMELESS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Anti-austerity campaign organisation The People’s Assembly dump stacks of food opposite Downing Street in Westminster, London, Britain, November 21,2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A person hangs laundry to dry outside an apartment on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London, Britain, December 30, 2015. Oliver Letwin, British Prime Minister David Cameron's policy chief, apologised on Wednesday after a newly released memo from 30 years ago revealed he had blamed poor morals in the black community for the 1985 riots in the Broadwater Farm estate and said any investment would be wasted on discos and drugs. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
A man stands on a balcony at a block of apartments on the Broadwater Farm estate in north London, Britain, December 30, 2015. Oliver Letwin, British Prime Minister David Cameron's policy chief, apologised on Wednesday after a newly released memo from 30 years ago revealed he had blamed poor morals in the black community for the 1985 riots in the Broadwater Farm estate and said any investment would be wasted on discos and drugs. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
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Pollster Deborah Mattinson told the Guardian: "I have been listening to people in focus groups since the late 1980s and I cannot recall a time when the national mood was more despairing. 'Broken', 'sad', 'worried', 'angry'– the negatives tumble out, as does the long list of grievances. I'm hearing anxieties voiced in a way that I haven't heard since the 1990s: a rundown NHS, job insecurity, teacher shortages."

BritainThinks asked more than 2,000 people in addition to holding focus groups in London and Leicester. Around three-quarters of the public fear the divisions between Leavers and Remainers will get worse within the next year, as Britain faces the prospect of revoking Article 50 or crashing out of the EU. A further two-thirds of respondents said, they feel depressed by rising poverty.

Those who took part in the focus group sessions said they were "uncertain" and "worried" about the future. These were the two most commonly used phrases to describe respondents' feelings. The break down of local communities, job insecurity were all sighted as of equal concern across all generations. The causes are complicated and deep rooted and not all related to Brexit - some opted to blame immigration while others blamed a decade of harsh austerity.

While the national mood has turned darker with uncertainty over the solution to Britain's problems seemingly illusive, there was some positive news. Many Brits felt positive about their home life and personal relationships.

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