EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows ‘Yes’ campaign in clear lead

The pro-AV campaign was given a double boost today. A new poll shows the campaign is in the lead while the Labour Yes! campaign has launched with support from across the party.

The pro-AV ‘Yes to Fairer Votes‘ campaign was given a double boost today. A new poll, seen exclusively by Left Foot Forward, shows the campaign is in the lead while the Labour Yes! campaign has launched with support from across the party’s different wings.

An ICM poll for the Electoral Reform Society shows that voters want a switch to the Alternative Vote (AV) system by a factor of 3:2. Thirty five per cent say they will vote ‘yes’ in the referendum, with 22% voting ‘no’ – and 35% undecided. The poll showed support across social classes and regions. The only age group with a majority against is 55-64 (31% yes, 33% no, 29% undecided). The findings are at odds with polling for YouGov which has shown the ‘No’ Campaign in the lead.

The poll also suggests that Labour would gain an electoral dividend from taking a clear pro-AV stance on the issue. Labour’s election coordinator, Andy Burnham, had previously said that Labour would not campaign for AV. The poll asked:

“If the Labour Party decided to support changing the voting system for British parliamentaryvote Labour in Your next Local Council election/ The 2011 Scottish Parliament election/The 2011 Welsh Assembly election  or would it make no difference one way or the other?”

Thirty-one per cent of voters who identify with Labour are more likely to vote for the party if they support AV while just 2 per cent would be turned off. Campaigning on the issue also appears to be a significant way of attracting Liberal Democrats to the party with 17% to 8% saying they would be more likely to vote Labour if it supported the change.

The Guardian today published a letter from Labour MPs and activists including leader, Ed Miliband, stating that “First past the post isn’t working … It’s time for change”. As Next Left has noted, the list unites many of the party tribes:

“the signatories show that this is a rare cause with the ability to unite Ken Livingstone with Neil Kinnock and Oona King, Tony Benn and Peter Mandelson, Tessa Jowell and Tom Watson, Jon Cruddas and Roy Hattersley, James Purnell and John McDonnell, Phil Collins and Neal Lawson (and even, from journalism, Kevin Maguire and John Rentoul).”

In response, the ‘No’ campaign have resorted to pretending to be proportional representation purists. A sign of perhaps that they’ll try anything to defeat the referendum.

The Yes to Fairer Votes and Labour Yes! campaigns are both on twitter: @YesInMay and @LabourYes

UPDATE 17.15:

The ‘No’ campaign are now trying to shoot the messenger. Head of press, Dylan Sharpe, formerly an advisor to Boris Johnson, tweets:

Utter rubbish from @leftfootfwd & @wdjstraw. Poll by the Electoral Reform Society who are #Yes2AV & the qu isn’t the one that will be asked!

For the benefit of Mr Sharpe, the poll was carried out by ICM Research, a respected pollster. The question said:

“A referendum is due to be held in May 2011 on adopting a new voting system for British parliamentary elections. The proposed new system is calledthe ‘Alternative Vote’ (AV). If the referendum on AV were held tomorrow, how would you vote?”

Not so different from YouGov’s longer winded question which explained the different systems before asking:

“If a referendum were held tomorrow on whether to stick with first-past-the-post or switch to the Alternative Vote for electing MPs, how would you vote?”

69 Responses to “EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows ‘Yes’ campaign in clear lead”

  1. Eamon Walsh

    This is great news. Ed Miliband’s best chance of attracting more votes from disillusioned Lib Dem’s is to actively campaign for a Yes Vote. AV also has the added benefit of allowing Labour to win majorities; as the Jenkin’s Report shows and it would also help to drive a wedge between the coalition parties as they watch their poll figures inevitably slide downwards. It’s a win-win for Labour.

  2. blogs of the world

    The pro-AV campaign was given a double boost today. A new poll shows the campaign is in th… //reduce.li/qawall #clear

  3. Sunder Katwala

    RT @psbook: ICM polling shows "Yes" campaign have 3:2 lead on AV, according to @leftfootfwd //bit.ly/eLMMPk

  4. matt king

    RT @YesInMay: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb #YesInMay

  5. Mhairu McLaughlin

    RT @YesInMay: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb #YesInMay

  6. Big Girl Branding

    RT @YesInMay: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb #YesInMay

  7. Paul Sandars

    RT @labouryes: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/e27HCL reports @wdjstraw #Yes2AV #l …

  8. Kevin Peel

    RT @labouryes: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/e27HCL reports @wdjstraw #Yes2AV #l …

  9. Ed Watkinson

    RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/e27HCL reports @wdjstraw #Yes2AV

  10. Jamie Matthews

    RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb

  11. Chris Lovell

    RT @JamieMatthews84: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb @YesInMay @Y2FVYorks

  12. Martin Shapland

    RT @chrisjlovell: RT @JamieMatthews84: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb @Yes …

  13. Jill Segger

    RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Ed Miliband should make a decision and start backing this vote and not wasting time sending letters to the Guardian. So far he has been shown to be a totally useless leader, less decisive than Gordon Brown, and he needs to get a grip on the Labour Party urgently.

    The polls show he never had a honeymoon period and even with all the present unpopular cuts, for the Tories to be where they are in the polls shows how poor a leader he is.

    By encouraging Labour to vote for AV Ed Miliband could stamp his authority on the party and show them who’s boss. He has a tough streak – look how he shafted his brother – AV is important and he needs to be ahead of the curve and prove us all wrong about how totally hopeless he is…

  15. irene rukerebuka

    RT @YesInMay: RT @leftfootfwd: EXCLUSIVE: New poll shows 'Yes' campaign in clear lead //bit.ly/hPcODb #YesInMay

  16. Labour voters switch to supporting AV in new poll | Liberal Conspiracy

    […] poll by ICM earlier in December showed similar trends on electoral reform. […]

  17. Benita Cooke

    ICM poll shows a clear lead for the 'Yes!' campaign – 56% to 44% //tinyurl.com/3836vnh #Yes2AV

  18. Loz Kaye

    RT @benitacooke: ICM poll shows a clear lead for the 'Yes!' campaign – 56% to 44% //tinyurl.com/3836vnh #Yes2AV

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