The research, conducted by Survation on behalf of We Own It, also revealed that most voters want to see utilities and Royal Mail handed back to the State (63% and 69% respectively).
Cat Hobbs, Director of We Own It, said: “This polling once again shows that the overwhelming majority of people support public ownership of our public services.
“And it shows us that the public are fed up with being ripped off by private companies siphoning cash to shareholders rather than investing in our services.”
Despite widespread anger at frequent rail cancellations and old train stock, most supporters of nationalisation did not say they were motivated by beliefs the service would be better run or more affordable if it were returned to the State. Indeed, only 17% said they thought publicly run services would be better value, and just 14% said they thought standards would be improved.
Instead, the most popular reason voters gave for their support of nationalisation was that they wanted to see profits funnelled back into public services rather than lining the pockets of shareholders – a view 41% of respondents shared.
A similar number (40%) agreed that “privately owned companies prioritise profitable areas over providing a good service to everyone,” which many said was holding regional areas back.
A third of voters believed services were more accountable in the public sector, and nearly the as many (32%) argued that even when services are privatised its the taxpayer that picks up the bill when they fail.
Nearly one in three (29%) believed it was simply immoral for private interests to profit from the needs of the population.
“After 40 years of ideological marriage to privatisation, it’s clear that the public just aren’t buying it anymore. People recognise that this is about fairness and it’s about morality,” Hobbs said.
“It’s not a fair system that gives us inadequate, unaccountable services. It’s not a fair system that gives us skyrocketing fares and bills. And it’s not a fair system that gives us a cabal of shareholders and CEOs who are creaming off the profits.
“People want a change. People want public services that are fit for the twentieth century. To get that, we have to end the scam of privatisation once and for all.”