Press release

AV: Over-50s unconvinced

Sunday 22 April 2007

Older people are far more likely to vote for no change to the UK voting system, with older men in the higher socio-economic groups being most likely to say “leave the system as it is”.

Over 50s lifestyle group Saga polled 11,801 customers over the age of 50, and the signs are the “Yes to AV” campaign has a lot of work to do with older people.

“It could be tough. Both our research and the research of other organisations indicates that older people are far more likely to vote on any issue than younger people, and older people are far less likely to change their mind,” said Emma Soames, Editor-at-Large of Saga Magazine.

Saga’s survey shows 50%of respondents think the “first past the post” electoral system currently used to elect MPs to the House of Commons should not be replaced with the “Alternative Vote” (AV) system. Around a third (32%) think it should be replaced with the AV system, and just under one in five (18%) say they don’t know.

Panellists in Scotland (41%) and Northern Ireland (50%) are most likely to support the introduction of the AV system. This is likely to be due to the prevalence of different voting systems in these two nations’ parliamentary or assembly elections.

People surveyed by Saga said that if the AV system were introduced, more than two thirds (68%) of respondents think that coalition governments between parties would be more likely than under the first past the post system. 59% also think it will be more likely that smaller parties will be represented in parliament under AV.

A quarter (24%) of respondents think it is more likely that MPs will be held to account under such a system, however three in ten (29%) think it is less likely that the party or parties in government will keep to their manifesto commitments.


For further information please contact the Saga Press Office on 01303 771529.



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