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Knowledge Of MMP Falls--Commission

8 July 2002

The latest research by the Electoral Commission shows that the public’s knowledge of some aspects of how the voting system works is lower than immediately before the last general election.

While 67 percent of the public know they are entitled to make two votes and 55 percent know that the Party Votes decide each party’s share of all the seats in Parliament, respondents to the survey don’t fare quite so well with knowledge of other features of the electoral system.

The research carried out by Colmar Brunton in the last couple of weeks indicated that knowledge of both the criteria by which a party can enter Parliament is only 27 percent.

However, almost three-quarters of those surveyed stated some degree of interest in politics generally (71 percent) and nearly 40 percent claimed to have “a great deal” or “some” knowledge of politics in New Zealand.

The research showed that females, young people, Maori and Pacific Island people continue to have lower levels of knowledge of MMP than other demographic groups.

The release of the research data coincides with the start today of a comprehensive public education programme by the Electoral Commission to improve understanding of the electoral system before Election Day. The campaign will use television, radio, newspapers and magazines, the electoral website (www.elections.org.nz) and a toll-free number 0800 800 610 to explain the main features of the MMP voting system.


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