The AV Referendum

It is reported that the AV referendum will be held next year, on the same day as the local, Scottish and Welsh elections. I am sure we will have lots of detailed polling on the issue in the days and weeks ahead, but for the record I’ve collected the polls we’ve had so far on voting intention in a referendum on AV here.

So far the polls have consistently shown a lead for the YES campaign, ranging from 27 points in a ComRes poll in March, in just 8 points in a YouGov poll last week. YouGov have asked the AV referendum question several times over the last two months, and their more recent polls seem to be showing a slight downwards trend in support for AV.

The difference between the figures from different pollsters may also be down to the language of the questions, which at the moment need some explanation as to what AV actually is. That will be less necessary and less important as public awareness of what is being offered grows. Sooner or later the government will also announce the question they plan on actually asking in the referendum, at which point the question pollsters use will change to reflect that.

It is still early days of course, and polls on referendum issues that people haven’t really thought about much yet can change rapidly – for example, there was a Gallup poll in January 1975 showing a majority would vote to leave the EEC, and early polls prior in the North East devolution referendum in 2004 indicated support for devolution. The picture could change dramatically by the time of the actual referendum.

52 Responses to “The AV Referendum”

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  1. Johnty, Anthony, Jay

    Many thanks for your kind help above.

  2. I think holdeing the referendum on the same day will cost the Conservatives votes (and seats) in Scotland and Wales.

    Consider this: They will campaign for FPTP while at the same time time asking for list votes – surely every opponent will label them hypocrites all the time.

    Even worse: Do the Tories support switching the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly elections to FPTP? If not, how they can then oppose it for Westminster? And if they do, they will be back in 1999 as they will again be seen as being against devolution.

    Talking about throwing a bone to the Nats…

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