Is Rishi Sunak's national service plan a good idea? Here's what Yahoo readers think

Yahoo UK's poll of the week lets you vote and indicate your strength of feeling on one of the week's hot topics. After 72 hours the poll closes and, each Friday, we'll publish and analyse the results, giving readers the chance to see how polarising a topic has become and if their view chimes with other Yahoo UK readers.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak takes part in a media huddle during a visit to Niftylift in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Thursday May 30, 2024. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak has claimed his national service plan could become a new “rite of passage” which would restore pride in Britain. (PA)

Rishi Sunak has claimed his controversial national service plan could become a new “rite of passage” which would restore pride in Britain.

The Prime Minister said last weekend's election pledge was a way in which he had been looking to “restore that sense of patriotism, pride and cohesiveness in our society”.

The Conservatives' proposal to make it compulsory for 18-year-olds to give up the equivalent of a weekend a month for a year to do voluntary work or sign up for 12 months in the armed forces has sharply divided opinion, with even former military chiefs disagreeing on whether the plan will work.

But on a visit to a factory on Thursday, Sunak told workers: “It will become a new rite of passage that everyone goes through and bring us closer together", adding that it could help develop “a greater sense of pride in what we stand for and what we are as a country".

One worker at the Niftylift cherry picker factory welcomed the proposal but asked how youngsters involved in so-called postcode gang wars would be separated.

Sunak said the scheme for 18-year-olds will “keep them out of trouble”, adding: “When you ask people about gangs, why they join gangs when you talk to youngsters and when you talk to their parents, it’s because being in that gang gives them a sense of identity and a sense of purpose.

“So this is something that will give kids a much more positive sense of identity and purpose and I actually think one of the other benefits of it is we will see that it will be able to reduce crime because we’ll be doing something really positive for young people instead.”

Yahoo News UK asked our readers whether they think the PM's national service plan is a good idea, here are the results

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Our poll from Monday at midday until midday Thursday asked: 'Do you think Rishi Sunak's national service plan is a good idea?'

It received 9,741 votes and showed that the majority of users 62% supported the idea.

We also asked users to indicate their age, separating them between over and under the age of 40. The results were similar with support for the policy higher among bother age groups.

Yahoo News UK readers were also asked: 'Out of 10, how important is this issue in deciding your vote?'.

This poll received 10,221 votes with the most common vote being very important (60%), followed by 30% who said it was 'not important at all', and 10% who were not sure.

Our original poll article can be found here.

A YouGov poll on the issue also divided Britons, with 47% saying they would support such a move, while 45% would be opposed.

The Yougov polling indicated a wider generational split. Young Britons aged between 18-24 overwhelmingly opposed the proposal (65% to 31%) while over 65s supported it (63% to 31%).

Read more of Yahoo UK's Poll of the Week articles