There are two regular tracking surveys of attitudes toward ID cards – the Home Office commission one, formerly carried out by TNS, now NOP, and the anti-ID card pressure group No2ID commission one, carried out by ICM. Both have released new figures over the last few months, and both show opinion moving against ID cards, albeit, with very different topline figures.
The latest wave of the Home Office data shows 56% approving of the “National Identity Service, including identity cards”, 27% opposed – a net approval of +29, down from +35 in their previous survey.
Meanwhile ICM’s poll for No2ID found 38% thought that ID cards were a good idea, 60% a bad idea – a net approval of -22, down from +2.
So both show opinion moving against ID cards, but overall opinion is vastly different. This is almost certainly down to the different way the questions are asked. In the Home Office polling respondents are first asked why they think the government is introducing ID cards, which will put them in mind of potential benefits of the card, and likely produces a higher approval rating. In No2ID’s polling, the likely cost of an ID card is mentioned in the question, which likely reduces the proportion of people who think it is a good idea.