The lack of smartphone and tablet voting in British general elections could be holding back democracy, our exclusive research reveals today.
More than 6 in 10 potential voters (63%) believe the introduction of smartphone and tablet voting would increase turnout, the poll revealed. Only one in three (35%) voters oppose introducing smartphone/tablet voting, while 41% support it and 18% are neutral.
But there are major concerns around the security and safety of adding a revolutionary new voting method, with 51% claiming they would trust less the result of any election that included smartphone and tablet voting.
The biggest fear of 40% of respondents was that smartphone/tablet voting would lead to elections being rigged/fixed, with voters unable to watch the counting process.
Our research, conducted by polling experts YouGov, follows calls from John Bercow, chairman of the Digital Democracy Commission, that people should be able to cast their vote online in the 2020 general election.
It provides the first extensive insight into attitudes towards smartphone/tablet voting among the British electorate.
Tecmark managing director Richard Heyes said: “At a time when voter apathy is at an all-time high, our findings suggest the introduction of smartphone/tablet voting would help more people engage with the democratic process.
“Every general election between 1922 and 1997 had a turnout of more than 70%. Each of three elections since then, in 2001, 2005 and 2010, has fallen below that figure.
“We have a thriving digital community in the UK with global expertise. If Parliament is serious about modernising and becoming more relevant, then smartphone/tablet voting must become a reality sooner rather than later.”
The poll’s other findings include almost half (48%) of all respondents currently intending to vote Labour in next month’s election supporting the idea of smartphone/tablet voting, while only 34% of those intending to vote UKIP do so.
Voters aged 60+ have the strongest opposition to the introduction of smartphone/tablet voting (46%), but 52% of this age group still believed it would lead to increased turnout.
We asked 1,566 people in the UK four different questions on the subject. The results will be covered in detail on the Tecmark blog each day this week.
- Would you support or oppose the introduction of smartphone/tablet voting in general elections?
- Do you think the introduction of smartphone/tablet voting would increase or decrease voter turnout, or would it make no impact?
- Would you trust the result of an election more or less if people had been able to vote using a smartphone or tablet, or trust the same amount?
- Which of the following, if any, would be your biggest concern over the potential introduction of smartphone/tablet voting?
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 1,566 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th – 31st March 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).