MMP is safe, according to a poll which tested opinion on the electoral system ahead of next year's referendum.

TV One's Colmar Brunton poll, released tonight, showed 50 per cent in favour of keeping it with 41 per cent opposed and 9 per cent who haven't made up their minds.

It was the third Colmar Brunton poll in the last five years showing a majority want to retain MMP.

The referendum will be held at the same time as the general election.


It will ask voters whether they want to retain MMP and to choose an alternative from a list of options which will include the old first-past-the-post system.

If a majority want to change, MMP will be run off against the preferred alternative in another referendum in 2014.

If a majority want to retain it, the Electoral Commission will review it and give the Government a report on any changes it thinks should be made to it.

The poll showed support for MMP was strong among young voters, with 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds supporting it.

That dropped to around 40 per cent for older voters.

The poll questioned 1000 voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 per cent.