The majority of the British public say that the use of electronic balloting to vote for industrial action is appropriate, according to a poll commissioned from YouGov and published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). It comes ahead of the second reading of the Trade Union Bill in the House of Lords.
More than half (53%) of the 1,711 respondents said voting for strike action electronically through a secure, dedicated website is appropriate, with only one in five (20%) saying it is inappropriate for unions to be able to do this.
An almost identical split think that electronic balloting should be used when voting for political party leadership elections, with 53% in favour and 22% against.
The poll also found that almost half (47%) of current Conservative Party voters support online voting for trade union strike ballots. This is despite reluctance by the Conservative Government to introduce this reform in the Trade Union Bill.
General Secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady said:
“If the Government really cared about raising democratic participation then it would allow unions to use the same modern voting methods the Conservative Party uses, and give working people the right to vote securely and secretly online, and in the workplace”
The Conservative Party, Labour, the SNP, Greens, and the Liberal Democrats all currently use online voting for internal party elections.
Introducing online voting for trade union strike ballots was one of the recommendations made in WebRoots Democracy’s Viral Voting report last year, and was a move supported by the previous Business Secretary, Vince Cable prior to the 2015 election labelling it as a “sensible reform.”
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