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Poll shows Mandelson’s disconnection plans is vote loser

Nearly half of respondents would be less likely to vote for a party supporting disconnection

A new YouGov poll for the Open Rights Group shows that nearly a third (31%) of UK citizens would be much less likely to vote for a party that supported internet disconnection for online copyright infringement. A further 13% would be a ‘little less likely’: in total, 44% would be less likely to vote for a party that supported such a policy.

Nearly three quarters (73%) said if they were disconnected, they would find their ability to use vital commercial services, such as shopping and banking, completely disrupted or fairly harmed. Over 40% said their ability to work or gain an education would be harmed.

When asked to choose, respondents also supported the right to a trial before punishments are imposed.

68% said that, if the Government’s proposals go ahead, a court should consider the evidence before restrictions are imposed, while only 16% were in favour of automatic procedures based on accusations, as is currently proposed.

Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

“This poll shows people rely on the internet, and an overwhelming majority think that access should only ever be withdrawn as the result of court action. Nearly a third would be much less likely to vote for a party that supports disconnection proposals.

“Only a tiny number – 16% - think the government has got this right.

“Clearly Mandelson is out of step with public opinion and should think again.

“MPs should take note, and sign the cross-party Early Day Motion opposing these extreme proposals.”

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1967 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th - 15th October 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).