As you know, we’re in the business of politics and educating young people about this incredibly important subject. So we decided to commission a survey that tested 5,267 members of the general public on their political term knowledge!


We managed to achieve a pretty even split in terms of respondent age groups: 40 per cent were aged between 18-25 years old, 32 per cent were 26-40 years old, and just less than a third were 41 years old or older.

The survey results were funny but also slightly worrying — revealing that two-thirds of young people think that filibustering is slang for a sex act. What’s more, on average, more than half of the respondents didn’t answer three questions or more correctly!

Only a tenth answered all questions correctly and the results also showed that men knew more political terms than women, with two-thirds (65 per cent) of male respondents answering five or more questions correctly.

We decided not to tell the respondents that the survey was on political knowledge, as this could lead to some respondents guessing correctly.

Here are the survey questions with the correct answers:

  1. What does filibustering mean?
  1. Slang for a sex act
  2. Deliberately wasting time during a debate
  3. Mechanical error with a vehicle


  1. Who is the Speaker?
  1. Chairs the debates in Parliament
  2. A prophet of God
  3. A villain in a game


  1. What is a hansard?
  1. Hand cream
  2. A traditional Finnish greeting
  3. Full report on what has been said


  1. What is the use of a battlebus?
  1. Transports leaders and senior figures around the country
  2. A hire bus that simulates battles for parties
  3. Wrestling move to pin your opponent


  1. What do psephology students study?
  1. Physical education
  2. Voting and voting patterns
  3. Animal faeces


  1. What is a guillotine motion used for?
  1. Limit amount of time
  2. Chopping off someone’s head
  3. Filleting a fish


  1. What are writs?
  1. Legal documents
  2. Fruit native to Africa
  3. A skin condition that causes blisters


  1. What is a caucus?
  1. Scottish sausage
  2. Abnormally large cactus
  3. Informal meeting


  1. What is an incumbent?
  1. A tool blacksmiths use
  2. Current office holder
  3. Digestive condition


  1. What is a boondoggle?
  1. Wasteful government-funded project
  2. Intimate act within the S&M community
  3. Component needed for the flush on a toilet


Matteo Bergamini, Founder of Shout Out UK said:

‘We commissioned the survey just to get an idea of what people’s knowledge is on political terms, we didn’t expect to get such funny results! Although it is funny that most young people think filibustering is a slang sex term, I think it reveals a deeper problem that most 18- to -25-year-olds aren’t engaged or educated in politics enough.
‘People just expect that when they turn 18, a lightbulb moment turns on and they will suddenly know all about politics. The results from older respondents show this isn’t the case and that poor political education can affect people for a lifetime.
‘A good knowledge of politics starts with understanding general political terms, and I hope ShoutOutUK will help teach millennials this so they can make better, more informed decisions on their future’.

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