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Before and after

Does giving voters the facts on issues like the NHS change their views? Up to a point

By Bobby Duffy   April 2005

In the run-up to the general election, surveys of British opinion have been showing a “perception gap” over public services—a divergence between the personal experience people report and their views of the trend in the quality of services generally. While they are likely to be satisfied with their local school or hospital, they regard the education system and the NHS as a whole more negatively.

This may be partly because of optimism—people (and companies) regularly expect their own economic prospects to be better than those for the country as a whole. But there is evidence to suggest that people have…

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