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MMP Still Leads In Referendum Race

MMP Still Leads In Referendum Race

New Zealanders would choose to retain MMP if the referendum were held today, according to a UMR Research poll released today. The poll uses the same wording as will be used in the referendum scheduled to be held in conjunction with the 2011 election, and showed that:

- 50% want MMP retained (up 1% since February last year).

- 40% want to switch to another electoral system (down 2%) while 10% are unsure.

- Support for MMP is strongest amongst under 30 year olds (64%) and in Wellington (65%) and lowest amongst people living in rural areas (38%) and amongst over 60 year olds (40%).

The survey also asked the second question from the November referendum – which system New Zealanders would want if MMP was dumped:

- The clear favourite is First Past the Post (40%), well ahead of STV (17%) and the preferential voting system recently rejected in the UK (8%).

- Supplementary Member is the system advocated by many of those campaigning against MMP but only 3% of voters choose that as their preferred alternative.

- 32% cannot choose a system, and it seems likely that most people know very little about the alternative systems other than First Past the Post.

We also asked New Zealanders a third question – did they want MMP kept as it is, to keep MMP with some changes or to switch to a different voting system altogether.

- 68% want MMP either changed or dumped, including 34% opting to switch to another system entirely when given these three options and 34% wanting to retain MMP with some changes.

- 26% want MMP retained as it is, a 3% increase since February 2010.

The questions were included in UMR’s nationwide Omnibus survey, a fortnightly telephone poll of a representative sample of n=750 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over. The margin of error for a 50% figure at the 95% confidence level is +3.6%. Fieldwork was conducted between 28 April and 3 May 2011.

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