The recent Government change and the fact that the National party with the most votes of any single party didn’t end up governing, has caused the New Zealand media and some politicians to question the MMP (mixed member proportional) system.
We here at UMR Research recently polled 750 New Zealanders (nationally representative) to gain the public’s opinion on whether the MMP system should be retained or whether we should change to another system.
Our results showed that half of New Zealanders still want to retain the MMP system. This is a 7% increase in support from October 2011. Just below two fifths of New Zealanders (38%) want a change to another system (similar to October 2011). When compared to the previous times we tested this question (Feb 2010, May 2011, and October 2011), the percentage of people wanting to change to another system has been slowly declining.
When results were broken down by party support a clear majority of National supporters wanted a change to another system (63%). This is not surprising given the circumstances. Around three-quarters of Labour and Green supporters wanted to retain the MMP system (72% and 75% respectively) so did two-thirds (64%) of New Zealand First supporters.
The people responsible for the future of New Zealand declared greater support to retain the MMP system. Almost two-thirds (59%) of those under 30 declared support for retaining the MMP system compared to less than a majority of those aged 30-44 (47%), 45-59 (48%) and 60 plus (47%).
The results obtained from our telephone survey of those aged 18 years and above showed that a majority of New Zealanders still support retaining the MMP system regardless of the negative media attention it has received.