Support for Proportional Representation 1979 - 2001

Attitudes to Proportional Representation measured over the years using a number of different question wordings

Support for Proportional Representation 1979 - 2001

See also trends on support for a referendum on the electoral system

Q I am going to read out to you a number of policies that some people would like the next government to adopt. For each one I would like you to tell me whether you support or oppose this policy.

Introduce proportional representation for elections to Parliament

  16-17 April 1979 23 May 1983
  % %
Support 41 41
Oppose 23 18
Net support 36 41

 

Q Now I am going to read out a number of policies, and I would like you to tell me, from this card, whether you support or oppose each*.

Change Britain's electoral system to a system of proportional representation

  7-25 March 1991 10 April 1992* 21 April- 8 May 1995 23-24 April 1997†
  % % % %
Strongly support 23 n/a 18 n/a
Tend to support 27 n/a 28 n/a
Neither agree nor disagree 16 n/a 22 n/a
Tend to support 16 n/a 13 n/a
Strongly support 7 n/a 8 n/a
Don't know 11 15 11 27
 
Support 50 45 46 45
Oppose 23 40 21 28
Net support +27 +5 +25 +17

*Q wording in 1992: "On balance, do you support or oppose changing..."

†Q wording in 1997: "On balance, do you support or oppose each of the following? Changing..."

 

Q To what extent would you support or oppose the introduction of proportional representation for Westminster Parliamentary elections?

  23-27 August 1991
  %
Strongly support 20
Tend to support 29
Neither agree nor disagree 20
Tend to support 9
Strongly support 4
Don't know 18
 
Support 49
Oppose 13
Net support +36

 

Q I am going to read a number of statements, and I would like you to tell me, from this card, whether you agree or disagree with each one.*

"This country should adopt a new voting system that would give parties seats in Parliament in proportion to their share of votes"

  21 April - 8 May 1995 25-28 April 1997 4-5 June 2001
  % % %
Strongly agree 23 27 28
Tend to agree 38 38 35
Neither agree nor disagree 14 11 10
Tend to disagree 13 11 9
Strongly disagree 6 6 11
Don't know 6 6 8
 
Agree 61 65 62
Disagree 19 17 19
Net agree +42 +48 +43

*Question wording in 1997: "To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements?"; in 2001 "To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statement?"

 

Q I am going to read a number of statements, and I would like you to tell me, from this card, whether you agree or disagree with each one.

"We should retain the current voting system as it is more likely to produce single party government"

  21 April - 8 May 1995
  %
Strongly agree 14
Tend to agree 33
Neither agree nor disagree 16
Tend to disagree 24
Strongly disagree 8
Don't know 5
 
Agree 47
Disagree 32
Net agree +15

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