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Post-poll public opinion

We conduct public opinion surveys following elections. These are intended to measure attitudes towards voting and monitor and understand the public’s experience of voting at each election.

For the full results and datasets for all of our public opinion research please refer to our research report library.

March 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election

Fieldwork dates: our post poll surveys are designed to capture opinion directly after an electoral event. The Northern Ireland Assembly election was held on 2 March 2017, fieldwork ran from 3 to 16 March.

Mode: 1,000 telephone interviews among adults aged 18 and above were conducted across Northern Ireland. Quotas for age, gender, socio-economic grouping and geographic area were applied.

Headline findings

Overall, the results suggest that voters have a positive view of the electoral process: 86% were confident that the poll was run and  87% said that they are satisfied with the procedure of voting in elections in Northern Ireland. This is however a slight decrease on the high of 2016.

Chart showing public opinion on the administration of the Northern Ireland Assembly election

While 82% said they are satisfied with the process of registering to vote there is a clear appetite for a move to online electoral registration. In total 77% agreed that you should be able to register to vote online, with 59% saying they strongly agreed.

Chart showing attitudes to online registration in Northern Ireland
<p>For the full results and datasets for all of our public opinion research please refer to our <a href=research report library

May 2016 and the EU Referendum

In 2016 we conducted a public opinion survey following the May election and following the June referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

Fieldwork dates: In May polls were held on 5 May, fieldwork ran from the 6 May to the 28 May. In June fieldwork began on the 24 June, the day after the poll, and was completed on 14 July.

Mode: In both May and June the polls were conducted by telephone. The sample comprised landline and mobile telephone numbers.

Headline findings

Satisfaction with the registration system is high with close to 9 in 10 saying they are satisfied with the process for getting their name on the electoral register.  Satisfaction with the general process for voting is similarly high, overall 84% said they were satisfied with the procedures for voting in elections and referendums.

Post-poll satisfaction with voting and registration in Great Britain

Across the 2016 polls, the vast majority said they found it easy to access information on how to cast your vote. Information on candidates was considered harder to access, particularly for the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

% saying it was easy to access information on... How to cast your vote What the election was for Information on the candidates standing
Scottish Parliament 93% 91% 81%
Northern Ireland Assembly 89% 87% 82%
Greater London Authority 83% 84% 79%
National Assembly for Wales 81% 78% 75%
English local elections 80% 71% 61%
Police and Crime Commissioners* 58% (+11) 38% (+8) 33% (+12)

EU referendum 85% 82% -

*Showing change from 2012 for the PCCs, comparable data not available for the other polls

In June, many reported finding it difficult to access 'enough information' on what would happen in the event of a Remain or a Leave vote, particularly what would happen in the event of a Leave vote. In addition, over half of respondents (53%) disagreed that the referendum campaigns were conducted in a fair and balanced way.

Extent to which voters agreed or disagreed they had enough information on the potential outcomes of the EU referendum

The vast majority believe that voting is safe from fraud and abuse, specifically voting in a polling station were 89% in May and 85% in June said that voting was safe. The perception that postal voting is more susceptible to fraud and abuse persists with 57% in May and 61% in June saying they thought it was safe.

Post-poll perceptions of the safety of voting

For the full results and datasets for all of our public opinion research please refer to our research report library