New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Election 2024
23 December 2011

E-petitions: which are up and which are down?

Voters care more about the RPI/CPI switch than they do about capital punishment.

By George Eaton

The latest e-petition to win the media’s attention is that calling for Margaret Thatcher’s proposed state funeral to be “privatised”. So far, it has had 16,186 signatures, 83,814 short of the 100,000 required to trigger a Commons debate. Since the site was launched in August, six e-petitions have passed the threshold, the latest being one opposing the government’s decision to uprate benefits in line with the Consumer Price Index, rather than the (generally higher) Retail Price Index, a move that will cost some families hundreds of pounds a year.

But what of those that have fallen flat? When the site was launched, it was widely assumed that Guido Fawkes’s petition to restore capital punishment would race past the 100,000 mark. George Young, the leader of the House, named the death penalty as one of the issues that he expected Parliament to discuss, the petition made the front page of the Daily Mail and several Conservative MPs, including Philip Davies, Priti Patel and Andrew Turner, lent their support.

But the petition has since struggled to gain traction. As the screengrab below shows, just 25,822 people have signed it. Indeed, a rival petition to retain the ban on capital punishment is ahead on 32,770 signatures

A

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Evidently, the public aren’t as desperate to bring back the death penalty as some imagine. Opinion polls continue to show that the majority of voters support capital punishment for murder (a YouGov poll in September 2010 found 51 per cent in favour and 37 per cent opposed) but as UK Polling Report’s Anthony Wells notes, over the past decade, support has fallen from around 70 per cent. The intensity of support has also declined over the same period. Most voters want the government to restore capital punishment but few now view it as a priority.

The pro-death penalty campaign only has until 4 February 2012 to garner the requisite 100,000 signatures.

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy