No to AV takes lead in referendum campaign

John Rentoul

no2av 300x237 No to AV takes lead in referendum campaignThe No vote has overtaken Yes for the first time in a poll asking the official referendum question on changing the voting system, reports a new ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow.

At present, the UK uses the “first past the post” system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the “alternative vote” system be used instead?

____Jan   Feb   Now

Yes  36%  40%  34%

No   30%  30%  37%

DK   34%  30%  28%

Figures adjusted to take into account certainty to vote.

All other pollsters using the actual wording on the ballot have shown Yes in the lead, with the smallest lead – two points – reported by ICM, 20 February.

Voting intention:

Con      37% (+1)

Lab       40% (-2)

LD         11% (nc)

Others  12% (+1)

Change since previous poll for The Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror, 13 February.

The Budget:

I believe that George Osborne, the Chancellor, is “on my side” in dealing with the country’s economic problems

Agree: 23%

Disagree: 50%

Unsurprisingly, 53% of Conservative voters agree – compared with 8% of Labour and 28% of Lib Dem voters.

When Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, talks about the “squeezed middle” he is talking about people like me and my family

Agree: 48%

Disagree: 28%

On this question, there is less of a partisan divide: 68% of Labour voters agree, compared to 40% of Conservative and 42% of Lib Dem voters.

Cancelling the planned 1p increase in fuel duty in the Budget would not be enough to help motorists

Agree: 80%

Disagree: 10%

The cuts are unfair because they will be felt more by the poor than by wealthier households

Agree: 63%    (Nov: 56%; Dec: 57%, Feb: 63%)

Disagree: 25%  (Nov: 30%; Dec: 28%, Feb: 24%)

There is a significant party split:  90% of Labour supporters agree, compared with 27% of Conservative and 53% of Lib Dems.

Bankers are making a fair contribution to the cost of getting the public finances back on track

Agree: 9%

Disagree: 78%

Finally, we asked about the Duke of York:

David Cameron should have sacked Prince Andrew from his role as an international trade ambassador when his judgement over personal friendships was first called into question

Agree: 38%

Disagree: 33%

Don’t know: 29%

Older people are more censorious: 47% of those aged 65+ agree, compared with 26% of people aged 18-24.

ComRes interviewed 2,004 GB adults online on 9-10 March 2011. Data were weighted to be representative of all adults and by past vote. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at ComRes.

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  • pri crimbun

    Bankers are making a fair contribution to the cost of getting the public finances back on track…. I disagree too :)

  • logrunner

    Here in Australia the AV style system appears to be loved but I observe:
    - policies of the major parties are already very similar; use of PR in the Upper House ends up with a further watering down of any decisions either party wants to make.
    - Pollies are given too much opportunity to do deals, behind the scenes or otherwise. It feels a form of corruption of the form that Wikileaks has exposed.
    - Minorities with the balance of power, especially if single subject parties, can get their particular beefs receiving undue attention, shooters, extreme right-wing and left wing etc.
    - Parties end up doing the exact opposite of what they stood for at the election as a result of deals, viz. Clegg on Student Fess, and Gillard on Carbon Price
    - The general public does not understand the complexity and what the impact of their alternative votes may be. I suggest that having an easily intelligible system matters quite a lot.

    My conclusion would be is that AV is likely to be a bad idea in a full bicameral system but for the simpler case of the UK it is as likely to make things worse as better.

  • John

    PR would be far better however AV is a start in the correct direction far to many people do not fully understand how the voting systems work unfortunately.

    We will never have a true democracy until we get PR

  • John

    Totally disagree with you Log Runner we need a total changed AV is a good starting point.

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