WMD Awareness Nuclear Weapons Survey

ComRes interviewed 4,207 UK adults aged 18+ (including 1,108 aged 18-35) online between 29th January and 2nd February 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults aged 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56+ by gender and region.

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Date Published
06 Apr 2014

Further Description

Young voters more likely to oppose like-for-like renewal of Trident
 
RESEARCH carried out by ComRes on behalf of WMD Awareness shows that young voters (aged 18-35) in the UK are more likely to oppose the like-for-like renewal of Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons system, than their older peers (aged 36+).[1]
 
The research  comes just two years before the government is due to decide whether to renew the fleet of submarines that will carry the UK’s nuclear weapons. It is the first time this decision will be made since the 1980s, when Trident replaced the previous Polaris system.
 
Based on the responses of 4,207 adults aged 18+ in the UK (including 1,108 aged 18-35) the research highlights that UK adults aged 18-35:
 
Tend to oppose nuclear weapons and the like-for-like renewal of Trident:
  • Only 19% believe the UK nuclear weapon system should be renewed to maintain its current size and capacity, compared to a third (33%) of 36+ year olds
  • 51% agree that the UK nuclear weapon system should be disbanded or reduced in size and capacity
  • More than half (54%) think nuclear weapons for defence purposes are too expensive for governments to maintain
  • 47% disagree that nuclear weapons protect the countries which possess them from modern day threats such as terrorism, only 38% agree
 
Are not engaged with the debate on nuclear weapons:
  • Only 6% believe spending on defence should be the government’s priority over the next 10 years
  • When asked about the current situation regarding nuclear weapons in the UK, almost a third (28%) said they didn’t know
  • Almost half (45%) didn’t know whether or not the UK government is legally bound to work towards disarmament under the Non-Proliferation Treaty
  • A third (34%) believe renewing Trident is going to cost up to £5 billion. It is actually estimated to cost up to £100 billion.
 
Young Ambassadors for WMD Awareness, who carried out the research, have responded to the findings by meeting with MPs to launch Talking Trident*, a national debate to raise awareness of the issues surrounding defence and Trident renewal ahead of the Main Gate decision in 2016.
 
WMD Awareness is calling on MPs to encourage young people to engage in politics ahead of the next election by listening to their views and taking part in Talking Trident.
 
ComRes interviewed 4,207 UK adults aged 18+ (including 1,108 aged 18-35) online between 29th January and 2nd February 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults aged 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56+ by gender and region.
 


[1] UK adults aged 36+ are more likely than younger adults (aged 18-35) to say that the UK nuclear weapon system should be renewed to maintain its current size and capacity (33% vs 19%).

 

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