Britons divided on Rishi Sunak’s national service plan

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
May 28, 2024, 4:06 PM GMT+0

Young people oppose the proposals, while older Britons are enthusiastic

Over the weekend, Rishi Sunak announced that he would reintroduce national service in the UK if re-elected as prime minister.

The proposed scheme would see youngsters required to choose between a year-long military placement or having to take part in community volunteering one weekend every month for a year.

Putting this outline of the policy to the public sees Britons divided: 47% say they would support such a move, while 45% would be opposed.

The split is generational. Young Britons – for whom such service is something they might realistically have to perform – oppose the plans by 65% to 27%. By contrast, the older Britons back the move by 63% to 31%.

Conservatives and Labour also sit on either side of the debate – unsurprising given how age and voting correlate. Seven in ten 2019 Conservatives (71%) back the national service proposals, compared to just 26% of 2019 Labour voters.

See the full results here

What do you think about national service, the coming election, and everything else? Have your say, join the YouGov panel, and get paid to share your thoughts. Sign up here.

Photo: Getty