Should voting be made compulsory?

Should voting be made compulsory?

Should all UK citizens be compelled to vote? We surveyed over two thousand adults aged 18+ to understand their views.

Over half (52%) said they would support compulsory voting taking place in the UK, while 25% would be opposed.

Support spikes to almost 60% amongst those aged 55 and over.

So there does seem like some good support for a blanket policy compelling all people of voting age to vote.

Many view voting as a basic human right. However in some countries people aren’t allowed to vote at all, yet many in healthy democratic countries such as the UK take this privilege for granted. The biggest offenders are often those eligible to vote for the very first time.

How do we encourage higher democratic participation amongst first-time voters who have a notoriously low turnout on polling day?

According to a report by the IPPR voters are becoming increasingly older and wealthier. The think tank said it is a rather serious issue because ??governments are more likely to frame policies that appeal to groups who do vote, and neglect the interests of those who don?t, leading to greater political inequality.?

The IPPR added: ?There is now clear evidence that younger voters who don?t vote are less likely than previous generations to develop the habit of voting as they move into middle age.?

How do we solve this issue?

In the IPPR report they recommend compelling first-time voters to turn out to vote, with fines issued if they don?t.

We were keen to see what the general public might think of this potential policy and so we asked them, “now imagine if voting was made compulsory, but only for those eligible to vote for the first time in a general election. An option would be included on the ballot paper for a ?none of the above? option, but those who did not vote when eligible to do so for the first time would be fined. To what extent would you support or oppose this taking place in the UK?

Two in five (42%) said they would support compulsory voting for first time voters, while 29% would be opposed.

Men were noticeably more likely to support this than woman (47% vs 37%).

Why not explore all the results in the data tables provided below.