How believable are government claims on ID cards?
Home Office research reveals all
British people are maintaining steady levels of disbelief over goverment claims about ID cards, according to official Home Office research.
Lobby group No2ID picked up on the research this week, but a spokesman for the IPS said it had been published on ips.gov.uk in November. Google has a cache from earlier this month.
The survey asked people how important proposed benefits of the ID card would be - 74 per cent chose "disrupting the activities of terrorists and organised criminals", but 23 per cent of people thought this was "slightly believable" and 11 per cent thought it was "not at all believable". Seven per cent of respondents did not recognise any of the eight benefits they were offered to choose between.
Researchers from Taylor Nelson Sofres summarised views as: "Across the board, full buy-in and belief in the schemes [sic] ability to deliver the proposed benefits is weak."
Phil Booth, NO2ID's National Coordinator, said: "After five years of trying to get people to like ID cards, even the Home Office's own research says that only one in four believe they'll do what they're claimed to. And this is supposed to be positive spin. It's both tragedy and farce.
"Mr Brown - if he's in control at all - should shut down the ID empire-builders before this particular legacy of Blunkett and Blair gets any more embarrassing."
The survey also noted that: "Interestingly prevention of illegal immigration is more "top-of-mind" than it was in wave 1 which is likely to reflect media coverage at the time interviewing was being conducted."
The Tracking Research talked to people in October, the latest update should be published in the next month - we'll bring you more belief-beggaring government research as we get it.
It will be interesting to see what impact the recent round of data losses by the UK government has on its believability quotient.
The survey used a sample of 2,052 people weighted to reflect the UK population.
The survey report is available from this page as a pdf.®
Yes - all surveys employ a 'forced choice' predefined set of responses.
You wouldn't want the gumment to find out that we all hate them, shurely?
I thought it was 72.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot?
I'm quite worried about this on a deeper level than ID cards. The ID cards issue is going to be in the manifesto at the next election, so that means that Brown will (if he wins) feel vindicated in implimenting the plan.
However, forcing ID cards on the 39% of the population who do not want them on the basis of a General Election result stretches the concept of democratic mandate. In the 1979 referendum for Scottish devolution it was a requirement that 40% of the total electorate supported devolution. With 61% in support of ID cards, it would require a two thirds turn out at a referendum to hit the pass mark used for Scotland in '79. This is a greater percentage than that which turned out for the either Scottish devolution vote.
In the '97 referendum that gave the Scottish their Executive, a simple majority was required - and this would happen if the ID card opinion poll is accurate. However, in the last General Election only 35% of voters chose Labour, and that equated to 22% of the potential voting population. Without a referendum, the ID Card scheme could be introduced with the tacit support of less than 1/4 of the British electorate. That just doesn't seem right to me.
If Brown wants to introduce an ID Card scheme we need a referendum to prove that the British people want it.