Three in five Brits believe in at least one conspiracy theory

After asking the public their thoughts on thirteen different conspiracy theories our research has found that 63% of the British public believe in at least one.

The most popular of these conspiracy theories being that Donald Trump is being blackmailed by the Russian government with some form of kompromat with a third (34%) believing this to be true. Talking of international political scheming, one in five (19%) of the British public think Mossad are secretly working to bring down Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

A similar figure (17%) believe that there is something living in Loch Ness. From Loch Ness to the Mull of Kintyre, 8% of Brits think that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike. On the subject of rock and roll deaths the same number of suspicious minds think that Elvis didn’t die in 1977 but went on to live for many years afterward.

Unfortunately, 16% believe that man-made climate change is a hoax. This figure is higher among Leave voters than Remain voters, with a fifth (20%) of the former disputing climate-change compared to 12% of the latter. They aren’t the only group with their heads in the clouds; 12% of Brits believe that vapour trails emitted by jet engines contain chemicals that have been added for secret and sinister purposes.

Regarding age, young people are generally more likely to believe in conspiracies. For example, a fifth of those under 35 believe in the Illuminati (20%) compared to 8% of those over 55. Similarly, 22% of 18-34s think that horoscopes and star signs can be used to make accurate predictions about the future.

A no-nonsense attitude comes across among the Over-55s. They solidly reject the idea that the earth is flat with only 1% of this group believing this to be true. Younger people are more open minded about the exact shape of the planet, 14% of those under 35 believing the Earth is actually a disc.

On planetary matters, being the generation most likely to have witnessed it, the over-55s are the least likely to believe the moon landings were faked.

As much as conspiracy theories are rightly mocked they are not without their problems. On a more serious note, 14% wrongly believe that vaccines cause autism in children and worryingly a quarter (24%) don’t know either way. Leave voters are the least certain on this matter with 28% admitting they don’t know. Given the proliferation of misinformation and fake-news it is all the more important that as well as laugh at conspiracies of this kind we also work to combat bad research, dodgy-statistics, and pseudo-science.