As well as the voting intention Populus also asked about various Parliamentary reforms. 74% said they supported fixed-term Parliaments, 73% more free votes, 66% that the number of MPs should be reduced, 56% that MPs should not have second jobs and 51% supported a fully elected House of Lords. 56% said they supported proportional representation.

In the comments to the last post someone posed the question that these are all things the Liberal Democrats have supported for many years, so why aren’t they doing better. The simple answer is that Parliamentary reform normally has a very low salience. People might agree with it, but when it comes to voting they see things like schools, hospitals, crime, taxes and so on far more important. Where it would be important of course was if there was a referendum upon changes to the electoral system at some point.

For now however, before specific proposals are decided, pros and cons explained, arguments made and battlelines drawn (people don’t vote in referendums on a detached judgement of the issue – it matters who is campaigning for each side). It probably gives us very little indication of how people would vote in a referendum on a new electoral system.

On the subject of Populus polls, I’ve just noticed that the tables from the previous Times Populus poll at the beginning of March also included a hypothetical question of how people would vote with Alan Johnson as Labour leader, which didn’t seem to get much attention. Voting intention with Johnson was CON 42%, LAB 25%, LDEM 22% – a 17 point Tory lead, compared to 13 points in the normal voting intention question in the same Populus poll. As I wrote earlier this month polls like this probably don’t tell us much, but I suspect they are going to start getting a lot of attention in the days following the June 4th elections.


One Response to “More from Populus’s poll – plus Alan Johnson polling”

  1. Looks like even if labour did change Brown they would still be in the low to mid 20’s, so much for that plan.