The latest in the regular series of ICM polls No2ID have commissioned tracking the public’s support for ID cards shows the public continue to be pretty evenly split with 48% thinking ID cards are a good idea, 46% a bad idea. While slightly more people support them than oppose them, those opposed to ID cards tend to hold stronger views – 19% think ID cards are a “very bad idea” with only 9% thinking they are a “very good idea”.

A second question asked about support for a national database of information about individuals and found 35% thought it was a good idea and 63% thought it was a bad idea, suggesting the database behind ID cards is rather less popular than ID cards themselves.

22 Responses to “Support for ID Cards”

  1. I’d love to see a cross reference to voting intentions…

  2. I’d love to see a cross reference to voting intentions, both in likelihood to vote and which party….

  3. Ooops…

  4. I get the feeling Jack would like to see cross-reference to voting intentions ;)

    In all seriousness, I find it hard to believe that people actually trust the state to implement such a system in our country, given the shambolic security in place at the moment…

  5. With all the NO2ID propaganda and the current government unpopularity and still ID cards are supported – NO2ID must be gutted.

  6. I imagine that they will be publishing a cross reference to voting intentions in due course. I was called by ICM for this survey last Thursday, and they asked the usual voting intention questions, likelihood of voting etc as well as various questions about mobile phones.

  7. I think the apparent discrepancy is down to the difference between being able to prove who you are (convenient) and allowing the state to amass possibly incorrect information about you (unpleasant).

    I’m not sure how much is known about me from my passport information,probably not much, and it makes life simpler when travelling than if I didn’t have one.

    It’s not clear how much the objection is due to the cost and inevitable mis-management of the deployment, and how much it’s down to civil liberty issues.

  8. The cost and inevitable mismanagement are, at root, civil liberties issues. The difference between the ‘national database’ and the idea of a convenient identifier is very significant and shows the British people aren’t dumb. The core of the current proposals is the national database – had it just been a photo card we’re required to have is could have been introduced quickly and issued through the one or two post offices that are left open. Personally I just don’t trust the motives of Government…

  9. “The cost and inevitable mismanagement are, at root, civil liberties issues”

    Nonsense. Civil liberties are to do with not being arrested at 5am because you’re on a list. Nothing to do with the expense of introducing a new system.

  10. I agree with a contributor above – this current government can’t be trusted with personal information – but overall i think we should have a DNA database – it should be done from birth , new arrivals into the UK , arrested individuals even for minimal offences like driving convictions – the database would soon grow – it would help catch a lot of criminals from today and the past.

    Only touble is – this government would let them out of prison after a short spell even if they were convicted for a serious offence – just to clear room in the prisons.

    Maybe we should wait 2 years before starting to compile a DNA database

  11. “The Oracle” spoke:

    …i [sic] think we should have a DNA database… [even for those] arrested individuals even for minimal offences like driving convictions….

    Mike, we already have. Unfortunately I am on it! :(

    John tt spoke:

    Nonsense. Civil liberties are to do with not being arrested at 5am because you’re on a list.

    Were you a fan of Herr Flick in ‘Allo, ‘Allo? :)

  12. Mike Richardson’s comment shows he doesn’t know many policemen.

  13. You’ve got nothing to fear if you’ve got nothing to hide.

    Or if you’ve got nothing to gain. Or nothing to lose.
    Except you haven’t, just ask any Zimbabwean voter.

    And the same applies to your your government.
    Except it doesn’t, just ask Robert Mugabe.

  14. john tt – I’ll accept that the cost argument isn’t a civil liberties issue but mismanagement and incompetence – or just plain lack of security as with the HMRC debacle – are civil liberties issues.

    As to whether any of this is a good idea, I remain sceptical of the value we might derive from these innovations especially when balanced against the risk of error in large computerised record systems. The anti-terror argument usually trotted out is specious nonsense – the young men who blew themselves and loads of innocent Londoners up last year would have cheerfully qualified for and used an ID card. The anti-crime argument is arrant rubbish too – how is me having to carry an expensively crafted piece of digitised plastic going to stop the kids on the estate getting smashed and wreaking the bus shelter or some idiot young man stabbing some kid for looking at him wrong?

    Our enthusiasm as a nation for a national DNA database will last until we find someone is wrongly convicted using innaccurate DNA evidence (I suspect this may already have happened). DNA evidence isn’t 100% accurate – more like 80%. Useful but as lawyers can tell you not really that safe as stand alone evidence.

  15. I think it’ll take more than one wrongful arrest/conviction to change public opinion.

    People seem to buy the “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” line because they don’t envisage living under a truly malevolent regime. I don’t agree that that’s relevant, but I think it’s a common perception.

    It can take a lot of time and effort to identify some-one. I’m sure the police would welcome ID cards for that reason alone.

    As for the “errors/benefit” trade-off, are you suggesting that having no system is better than having a system that would be prone to errors? Or do you accept that if there are clear benefits, then there’s an acceptable level of error (given that no system is perfect)?

    Benefits – the ability to :

    Identify people more quickly
    Count people more accurately

    (I don’t subscribe to the anti-terror, anti-crime benefits pre se, but identifying people more quickly could save a lot of police time)

  16. I.D cards are number one costly to my pocket, number two another way for the govenment to get infomation on you which they do not have at this time, number three a way in which another person can steel your identity, get money from your acount, go to new york at your cost and number four just another way for this incompitant govenment to spend our money and lose our identity again.

    but on the other hand i do agree that a DNA database is a good idea and if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear from anyone, only one problem with DNA if some one has a large blood transfusion the DNA in that person’s body changes slightly to the other persons meaning youcould beacome guilting for something you have not done, so in this case the person would have to have their DNA taken again to make sure and then put on the database in place of the old DNA of that person, but other than that its a good idea.

  17. Will we be forced to carry these ID cards at all times?
    What will be the penalty be for not carrying it?
    What will the penalty be for refusing to get one?
    How many thousands of people will have access to my personal details?
    How can we be certain that in a few decades from now we are not going to be under the rule of a truly malevolent government?
    How can people be so blind as not to notice that little by little we are moving towards an increasingly totalitarian society under this government?
    The so-called reasons for making ID cards compulsory don’t make sense. It is not based on reason but on an instinctual lust for power, for knowledge is power.

  18. As for the notion that if people have nothing to hide then they have nothing to fear – this is totally naive!
    Doesn’t anyone open a history book anymore, or a newspaper for that matter! Do the names Nero, Stalin, Hitler, Saddem Hussein, Mugabe mean nothing to people.

    911 shows how unpredicable the course of history can be. No one can say for sure what crackpot laws may be passed in the future if there is not an effective opposition.

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

  19. St Bob of Ethiopia backs David Davis campaign! This “sham” looks increasingly bad for Gordon Brown!

    Will make an effort to watch Adam Boulton’s debate on Sunday. How many Labour supporters now concede that the party should have stood a candidate?

  20. As someone who vehemently opposes ID cards, this poll is frustrating news.
    I suppose the terror threat makes people like the idea, but I wonder if things would change if we had a referendum campaign highlighting all the arguments against their introduction? They did nothing to prevent the Madrid bombs, after all.