(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Britain are in favour of implementing specific guidelines to modernize the country’s voting system, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 73 per cent of respondents support counting ballots electronically, instead of by hand.

In addition, 71 per cent of respondents are in favour of using an electronic ballot marking device (such as a touch screen) instead of a paper ballot.

On May 6, British voters participated in a General Election. The Conservative Party finished in first place with 36.1 per cent of the vote and 305 seats, followed by the Labour Party with 29 per cent and 258 seats, and the Liberal Democrats with 23 per cent and 57 seats. The Conservatives formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats, with Tory leader David Cameron as prime minister and Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg as deputy prime minister.

Existing regulations call for polling stations in Britain to remain open from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm on election day. People who were not provided with a ballot before 10:00 pm are unable to vote, even if they are inside the polling station or in a queue. Several incidents were reported outside polling stations in Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Surrey after 10:00 pm, as would-be voters were turned away.

Clegg apologized to voters who were unable to cast a ballot in his Sheffield Hallam constituency, adding, "It is something that should never ever happen again in our democracy."

Polling Data

Some countries have adopted electronic voting systems to both cast ballots and count votes during national elections. Would you support or oppose implementing each one of these ideas in the next UK General Election?




Not sure

Counting ballots electronically, instead of by hand




Using an electronic ballot marking device (such as a touch screen) instead of a paper ballot




Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 2,002 British adults, conducted from May 14 to May 16, 2010. Margin of error is 2.2 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)