The Community Charge

Trends in public support for the "poll tax" between the first discussion of its introduction and the final reversal of the policy

Q Do you support or oppose the government adopting the following policy? Replacing the system of domestic rates with a fixed charge paid by people in each household aged over 18
    Support Oppose Don't know Net support
11 June 1987 % 43 39 18 +4
19 October 1987 % 37 49 14 -12
29-30 December 1987 % 23 65 12 -42
17-18 March 1988* % 22 60 18 -38
3-6 June 1988 % 31 61 8 -30
November 1988 % 28 61 11 -33
16-17 March 1989 % 23 69 8 -46
23-24 November 1989 % 25 68 7 -43
30 December 1989-3 January 1990 % 25 68 7 -43

Base: c. 1,000 GB adults aged 18+ in each survey * Q wording March 1988: "Q. Do you support or oppose the government's proposal to replace the current system of domestic rates with a fixed charge paid by people in each household aged over 18, known as the 'Community Charge' or 'Poll Tax'?"

Q (March) On the whole would you say you approve or disapprove of the community charge or poll tax? Q (April) As you may know, the government has recently replaced the system of local rates with a community charge or poll tax paid by every adult in each household. On balance do you approve or disapprove of this charge?
    Approve Disapprove Don't know Net approve
3-5 March 1990 % 19 76 5 -57
19-24 April 1990 % 23 73 4 -50

Base: c. 1,000 GB adults aged 18+ in each survey

Q The government is reviewing the Community Charge or Poll Tax. Which of these three options would you most like to see for raising finance for Local Government spending?
  8 March 1991
  %
Keep the community charge/poll tax as it is now 9
Have a charge based only on the value of people's homes 52
Have a charge based partly on the value of people's homes plus a flat rate (e.g. £100) per adult living there 31
Other 6
No opinion 2

Base: c. 1,000 GB adults aged 18+

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