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Public uncertain over campaigning restrictions – commission survey

Nov 21, 2007 | Media release

The Electoral Commission has released a July 2007 poll, taken just before the Electoral Finance Bill was introduced, which shows 67 percent support for the proposition that any individual or group should be able to run an election-related campaign as long as they are clearly identified and spend within a set limit.

Commission chief executive Helena Catt says public responses to a range of propositions suggested that opinion was soft, with large numbers of neutral views on some questions and apparently contradictory views held at the same time, “for instance 61 percent agreed that donors giving more than $10,000 to a party should be identified, but 45 percent asserted that if they themselves gave more than $10,000 to a party it was nobody else’s business”.

Opinion was against state funding of political parties, with 55 percent agreeing that all political parties should have to raise all their own funds from supporters, and just 27 percent saying they wouldn’t mind if the party they supported got help from the public purse with 41 percent opposed, however nearly a third didn’t know what they thought.

Lower income earners were more likely to strongly agree with statements advocating restrictions on campaign advertising.

The telephone survey of 1,500 people was conducted by UMR Research over 5-23 July 2007 and has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.

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