The YouGov live poll conducted on the 2nd August found that 50% of respondents said they did not think MPs should be able to hire family members to work for them either in their constituency office or at Westminster. In contrast, 24% said they MPs should be allowed to do this while 26% said they did not know.
When respondents are broken down by party, a majority of all party respondents said MPs should not be allowed to do this. The strongest opposition came from SNP supporters (64%) and Labour supporters (59%).
Liberal Democrat backers were the most likely to support MPs employing family members, with 34% saying they agreed with the practice.
YouGov reports that 20% of MPs employ family members.
Arguments in favour are that “that spouses are best able to handle the unpredictable work patterns” and that there is a “need for absolute trust”. Arguments against the practice are that “system is too open to abuse” and jobs should be given to the person who is most qualified - not people who are related to MPs.
The issue is one of many which seems to play to the narrative that there is “one rule for them and another for us.” There are strong arguments on either side, but the fact that MPs are allowed to do this probably does not help the image of politicians. On top of that, a 2015 YouGov poll found that 54% of voters supported a ban on MPs having second jobs, double the 28% in disagreement.