For the first time in Britain’s nuclear history, an opinion poll has found that a majority of people in Britain are in favour of Britain abandoning its nuclear weapons - without regard to considerations of cost.
ICM conducted its poll for the Guardian on 10-11 July, asking: “Do you think Britain should replace the [Trident] nuclear weapons system with a new one or should it no longer have any nuclear deterrent?”
There was no prompting about the high cost of the Trident programme. 54% of Britons said they wanted to abandon all nuclear weapons. 42% thought that Trident should be replaced. The last time this poll was carried out, in July 2006, 51% backed renewal and 39% opposed it.
Kate Hudson, chair of CND, said: “Public opinion has decisively shifted towards opposing the UK’s retention of nuclear weapons - now we need politicians to catch up.” She added: “The opposition [to Trident replacement] increases to 63% amongst those aged between 18 and 24. In social class terms, opposition is highest amongst C2 (skilled manual), at 63%, and second highest at 58% amongst D and E (unskilled manual and unemployed). That should break down a few stereotypes.”