Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We want a referendum on...

YouGov has carried out an opinion poll on behalf of the Constitution Society about how the public in England, Scotland and Wales feel about the proposed referendum on electoral reform, provisionally scheduled for next May.

The question with the most interesting answers was:
"Which constitutional issue would you most like to have a referendum on?"

The results in descending list of popularity:

·Britain’s membership of the EU
·Changing the voting system for electing MPs
·Reducing the number of MPs
·Replacing the House of Lords with an elected (or partially elected) chamber
·Setting up an English Parliament
·Fixed term Parliaments
·Equalising the size of Parliamentary constituencies
·Abolishing the monarchy
·Scottish independence

Looking into the data a little closer, we find:

1. For 43% of those sampled, the highest priority was European Union membership.

2. Despite all the attendant propaganda, only 33% thought the voting-reform referendum was most important.

3. 17% of the British public (British, not English as both Toque and David have pointed out) put a referendum on an English parliament in their top three of issues on which they would like a vote. The weighted Scottish section of the sample was less than 10%of the total. The Welsh part, it’s impossible to calculate as it’s included with the West Midlands. But even so, we must still be looking at figure of below 20% of the English public wanting such a referendum?

4. Only 29% of the Scottish sample put a referendum on Scottish independence in their top three of issues on which they would like a vote.

5. For Conservative supporters, the Top 3 subjects were:

British withdrawal from EU:64(!)%
Reducing number of MPs:32%
English parliament:26%

Labour supporters for the first and last category scored 33 and 13 respectively, indicating a very divergent range of opinion between themselves and the present government’s voters.


Point 3), I didn't think through...

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