Voters split along party lines over reintroducing death penalty

A YouGov poll for the Evening Standard suggests that more Londoners support a reintroduction of the death penalty than oppose it.

The death penalty was abolished fifty years ago in the UK.

Between the 19th and 21st of January the poll of 1,034 London adults (18+) asked:

‘The death penalty for murder was abolished in 1965. It has been suggested that a full review of how Britain deals with terrorists should be carried out, including possibly a debate on bringing back capital punishment. To what extent would you support or oppose the re-introduction of the death penalty for murder in the case of terrorist attacks?’

31% said they strongly favoured reintroducing the penalty for these cases, whilst 18% tended to support it, making the total in favour stand at 49%.

On the other hand, 28% said they strongly oppose any reintroduction of the penalty for these cases, with 14% saying they tend to oppose it, meaning that 42% oppose the idea.

Additionally, a total of 10% said they did not know.

The poll, whilst only asking London adults showed an interesting split.

Despite the small sample sizes for those intending to vote Liberal Democrat, 63% said they would oppose any reintroduction, whilst just 30% said they would be in favour of a change. The party is strongly pro-human rights so such numbers are unsurprising.

The party with voters most in favour of reintroducing the penalty was UKIP. 80% of those planning to vote for the party said they would support the reintroduction, whilst 19% disagreed. Back in August 2014, UKIP’s health spokesperson, Louise Bours MEP, called for the reintroduction of the penalty, according to the Independent. However, it is important to note that the sample size for UKIP voters was also quite small in the poll.

As for those voters intending to vote Labour, 44% said they supported reintroduction, compared to the 49% who said they opposed a change to the current system, suggesting a near even split.

And as for those intending to vote Conservative, a majority said they would favour a change. 61% said they would support reintroduction, whilst 30% would be against such a change.

Overall, it’s unlikely that the death penalty will come back any time soon, with countries continuing to abolish it across the world, but the data shows an interesting divide amongst voters for different parties.

The full results of the YouGov poll for the Evening Standard can be found here.


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