Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Britain split on vote system change, suggests poll for BBC Two's Newsnight

Voters around the country are split on replacing the First Past the Post system with the Alternative Vote, a new ComRes poll commissioned by BBC Two's Newsnight suggests.

When asked do you want the UK to adopt the Alternative Vote system instead of the current First Past The Post system for electing MPs 41% agreed while the same amount disagreed.

However, while nearly two thirds (65%) of people agree that the system for electing MPs needs major overhauling, 63% of people feel it would be a waste of time and money holding a referendum on changing the system when there are so many other pressing needs in the country.

1,002 people were interviewed for the poll which features in Newsnight's Alternative Vote special, tonight on BBC Two.

And in a rare treat the programme is putting its own X in a box. Jamie from Brit-nominated band The XX has put his own spin on the famous Newsnight theme tune for the AV special programme.

Talking to Jeremy Paxman ahead of the remix's first play tonight, Jamie from the band said he thought "It would be a cool challenge", adding that it was "a classic" but that he "still wanted it to be dramatic".

For full analysis and discussion of the Alternative Vote poll and to hear Jamie's take on the Newsnight theme tune join Jeremy Paxman and guests from 10.30pm on BBC Two or watch again on BBC iplayer.

Notes to Editors

ComRes interviewed 1,002 GB adults by telephone between 11 and 13 February 2011.  They were asked:

Do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

The system of electing MPs to the House of Commons needs major overhauling.
Agree: 65% Disagree: 25% Don't know: 10%

It is a waste of time and money holding a referendum on changing the system of electing MPs to the House of Commons when there are so many other pressing needs in the country.
Agree: 63% Disagree: 32% Don't know: 5%

Having coalition governments elected more frequently would be good for Britain.
Agree: 38% Disagree: 51% Don't know: 11%

In voting systems where people rank their choice of candidate, a person's first choice should always count more than another person's 2nd, 3rd or lower choice.
Agree: 81% Disagree: 14% Don't know: 5%

Q2: Do you want the United Kingdom to adopt the "alternative vote" system instead of the current "first past the post" system for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons?
Yes: 41% No: 41% Don't know: 18%

Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults.

ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Any information used from this release should be credited to BBC Two's Newsnight.

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