YouGov’s poll for the Sun this morning asked people their preference on the coalition deal. 20% wanted the Conservatives to govern as a minority, 33% wanted a pact or coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats (giving a total of 53% wanting a Conservative led government), 39% of respondents backed the Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, etc rainbow coalition.

YouGov also asked whether people would prefer FPTP or a proportional system. 38% backed FPTP, 47% proportional representation – this was a repeat of a question YouGov asked a week or so before the general election, and there has not been any significant change in opinion.

689 Responses to “Public coalition preferences”

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  1. If this ornage coalition goes ahead, then Ed Balls may well be the next PM. Unions will back him and he will receive reward for his loyalty to Brown.

    I expect Cameron to go, not immediately but in the near future.

  2. I’d be interested to see that poll repeated post GB’s resignation (or was it?)

  3. CNBC now headlining “If Greece Is Bear Stearns, Will the UK Be Lehman?”

    The UK is in very serious financial trouble. The argument and delay over getting PR / AV or whatever is of zero importance compared to the reality of what we are facing financially in this country. It is utterly irresponsible of the LD to delay and bicker about getting political reform in order for them to get a bunch more seats at an election when the real and immediate problem is avoiding the UK going bust.

  4. @JOHN TT

    A very good point, post Brown poll is needed.

  5. solar – depends how UK can service its debt interest. Looking OK for now.

    Not looking OK if Spain or Portugal goes down and the banks seize up again.

    As long as our effective “LTV” is below 80% we’re OK – it’s 66%? or thereabouts, and the markets want to see it coming down, not going up.

  6. Interesting polls – although PR is favoured by 47% of those polled – 53% of those want a conservative lead government. It suggests that the electoral system is not regarded as sufficiently important by those polled as to stand in the way of a conservative lead administration. One can go on and on with these polls but it would be interesting to know whether the public would like a change in the voting system to be first put to them or whether they are content not to be consulted and for this to be solely a parliamentary decision.

  7. Yakobs – the figure wanting a Con minority Govt might include tactical voters who want to see it fail when Lab has a new leader.

    The economic outlook is relevant, for all. If the news on GDP & outlook continues to be good, that would surley redound to Daling’s benefit (& Lab’ polling position)

    A Tory majority would have them saying “phew, jsut in time” as Q1 GDP gets revised up, ouput shoots up and Q2 GDP falls in line with darling’s supposedly wild optimism.

    An Oct election looks all the more tempting for Labour.

  8. John TT

    Similarly those that favour lab/lib coalition might include tory tactical voters who want to see such a coalition fail. I think you have to take the numbers at face value – whilst accepting it was just the usual small sample who were polled.

  9. @ JohnTT – “the figure wanting a Con minority Govt might include tactical voters who want to see it fail when Lab has a new leader.”

    True but exactly the same sentiment, in reverse, could also underlie some of the responses favouring a Lib/Lab coalition. Certainly the impression I’ve got from a lot of Tories on various different forums today is that a Lib/Lab coalition now means a Tory landslide at the next GE.

  10. Depending on fieldwork date, the CON/LD coalition or CON minority government, would have received much more publicity than other options. This would have seemed to be the most likely outcomes & would have benefited from the votes of people who want a quick decision.

    As John TT asked, was the poll conducted prior to Gordon Brown’s announcement he will step down?

    And of course, let’s not forget, UK opinion on which party they support is not exactly immutable e.g. LD 28% – 34% & second party the day before the GE.

  11. 40% in favour of the Rainbow Coalition seems a little high, given it has very little support in the Media. Contrary to my view hitherto, it might well fly.

    Also 47% support for PR seems high, given Media talk of paralysis and market meltdown over an inconclusive GE result.

    Finally, and this may be of interest to SOLAR and JOHN TT. The government offered £2Bn in bonds this morning, and the offer was oversubscribed. The markets may not be quite as concerned at the UK’s ability to pay its debts as first thought.

  12. James Ludlow

    Snap! Cameron has gone as far as he can with his offer to the Lib/Dems. As the largest part in the Commons but still in opposition, he could also get a signficant sympathy vote next time round – he will have the high moral ground for what that is worth and I think an election in the near future and a Conservative landslide would be the inevitable consequence.

  13. @ RAF – “40% in favour of the Rainbow Coalition seems a little high”

    Does it? And actually it’s 39%, not 40% Given that the pro-Lib/Lab rhetoric in the media has been insisting that the mandate for it is a supposed “progressive majority” combining Labour’s 29% vote share and the LD’s 22% vote share to total 51%, then 39% looks lower still.

    And however you number crunch, 39% is a lot lower than 53%.

  14. James Ludlow – I take the first point, but the hardening of the core vote doesn’t necessarily translate to more seats.

  15. Is anyone polling to see how many people understand that AV is not a proportional system, and how the referendum might go given that?

  16. Quincel – no-one polls to see if anyone understands anything. I presume the results would be quitre depressing!

  17. @ Raf

    so that’s another £2bn onto our debt then? :(

  18. 40% in favour of a Lib-Lab is very surprising. Is this poll pre- Brown’s resignation?

  19. Would love to see a poll of Tory members/voters/supporters who support FPTP/PR. Bet the result would surprise the leadership.

  20. As far as I can see there is no Rainbow coalition on offer. There is a Lab/Lib coalition

    In the current circumstances a Confidence and Supply minority Labour administration is just as doable as a conservative one.

    Are the Lib Dems and minor parties going to support it, or vote it down?

    OK boys and girls the market has took fret again.

    There is a retreat to the safety of Japanese Yen the Euro is in free fall even lower than GB£ which is caught up in the cross fire.

    The British Debt mountain should be manageable but there are some powerful short selling currents in play after positions were unwound yesterday.

    The UK bond market long dated is particularly in decline. There is a new issue today I don’t know what is happening on that

  21. @mikep

    “so that’s another £2bn onto our debt then?”

    Yes, but it doesn’t say how much of the previous debt matured at the same time and was repaid. Clearly we’re running a deficit so the net will be more debt, but I don’t think that £2Bn is the net amount.

  22. Expect a Con/Lib pact announcement soon. Vince Cable seems to have put his support behind that too.

  23. I wonder how the public would feel about directly electing the prime minister as a way of making election results definitive and democratic

  24. @ John TT – not necessarily, no. I was citing the opinions of Tory voters and activists. However, my impression is also that a proportion of non-Tories are also dismayed and angry about the apparent stitching-up going on – nothing about this looks at all democratic in spirit right now, no matter that it’s apparently do-able in strictly legal terms. I think this will backfire badly on the Lib Dems, whichever way they jump, and on Labour as well if they jump in that direction. There’s a powerful short-term gain, long-term pain aspect to all of this.

  25. I am with RAF on this.

    39% for a coalition that has received little publicity – & generally been mocked by the media – is higher support than I expected at this stage of the negotiations.

    Pay attention also – the 53% is for 2 options added together. The 20% who want a Conservative minority government may be appalled by the idea of a CON/LD coalition. To imply that it is 53% v 39% is somewhat disingenous.

    The 3 options actually score:
    Making the Rainbow coalition the preferred option!!!

    Some people who do not fully understand the numbers might well have opted for a Labour minority government or LD minority government if those had been offered.

  26. @ Amber Star – “39% for a coalition that has received little publicity –”

    Ummm, it’s had a massive amount of publicity. All the options have been discussed ad infinitum across the media.

  27. @ XIBY

    Expect a Con/Lib pact announcement soon. Vince Cable seems to have put his support behind that too.

    Provided that electoral reform which benefits only the Conservatives has been kicked into the long grass, I guess I can live with that.

    Despite it having 6% less support than a ‘Rainbow’ coalition.


    Depends on the fieldwork date.

    The Rainbow coalition was barely covered before yesterday – despite how it feels now.

    Monday was a long time in politics ;-)

  29. Rainbow Coalition? Let’s go for it!

    With his chubby cheeks and cheeky smile, Balls can (rather appropriately) be Bungle.


  30. “The 20% who want a Conservative minority government may be appalled by the idea of a CON/LD coalition. To imply that it is 53% v 39% is somewhat disingenous.”

    Unless you think they’d prefer a Lib/Lab government, I think it’s fair enough.

  31. @amber – 53 v 39 is disingenous?

    It looks like only the sun is allowed to add figures together.

    Isn’t 39% for a LAB/LIB coalition the “winner” under our current system.

    Since the success of last Thursday’s exit poll, it’s been a sorry few days for polling. Perhaps Anthony could do a piece on how the percentages are being interpreted badly on all sides.

    Does this happen in other countries, or are we especially cynical about the way we use statistics?

  32. Of course, when something dies, it will tend to have a last few agonising death throes.

    Lab & Con vote share:

    1955: 96.1%
    1966: 89.9%
    1979: 80.8%
    1992: 76.3%
    2010: 65.1%

    Even under FPTP, that share is just not large enough anymore to give single parties workable majorities.

    The age of single party rule has come to a grinding halt. All the fluster, bluster, and melodrama from those who think they represent the “British Public” on this site is really quite laughable. Time to face the new reality. The new politics has arrived. It is what people have voted for. Embrace it, because it is not going away any time soon.

  33. Labour Minority government %? +
    Lab/Lib Coalition %?
    Conservative Minority 20% +
    Con/Lib 33%

    Would have been a more meaningful poll obviously the numbers would change.

  34. @ Quincel

    Unless you think they’d prefer a Lib/Lab government, I think it’s fair enough.
    I think the 20% – or at least some of them – might indeed prefer a Lib/Lab coalition; they may think it is strategically in the Conservative’s best interests to either govern alone or wait until next time.

  35. The Labour party is gunning for a second election. They feel they would have a better chance of winning with a new leader. They must be praying that Clegg sides with Cameron.

  36. @ Amber Star – I think it had a great deal of coverage before yesterday as well, though obviously the main sstory was the negotiations with the Tories. Every aspect of this General Election has been autopsied over and over and over since the results became clear.

    Downside for me here in Wales is that the regional views is now full of puffed up Plaid folk fantasising about the influence they think they will wield and the sweeteners they think they’ll get. Considering how poorly Plaid performed in the GE (as usual), it’s not an edifying sight.

  37. @James Ludlow

    I’m not saying I favoured that option, just that I found the figures surprising. While the Rainbow/Orange coalition options have been discussed, they have generally been portrayed negatively. That is why I found the figures surprising.

    I have said since Day 1 that I expect to see a Con/Lib supply and confidence pact. That would make sense on so many levels (although not in the long term interest of the LDs). However, I now see the Rainbow/Orange coalitions as possible outcomes.

  38. Xmas election

    Tory 34%
    Labour 34%
    Liberal D 22%

  39. Eoin

    Politics is a rough old game.

    Bet on 3 new party leaders by Christmas?

  40. @ Eoin:

    Xmas election

    Tory 40+%
    Labour 28%
    Lib Dem 3%


    Right, off to lunch and some welcome respite from crack-politics.

  41. A Lib-Lab coalition, even with the inevitable support of the SDLP and Alliance, isn’t going to have a majority in the House.

    Rather strange that Labour are so opposed to any sort of deal with the SNP. Assuming that the DUP would have no part of such a coalition, the only other way to get a majority in the House would be adding Plaid and Sylvia Hermon (or possible Caroline Lucas). Maybe they can do some sort of confidence and supply deal?

    If not, I can’t see such a set-up lasting long. If electoral reform does get through, then the Lib Dems should do well at the next election – they will have achieved their number one aim. Labour are more likely to suffer, as they will have made significant concessions which will only have bought them a few extra months in office.

  42. Apparently messers G Brown, D Cameron and N Clegg are all in the House of Commons debating. Looks like the deal will be announced today, whichever way it goes.

    More importantly, though, is that there is a PMQs session that we aren’t getting to see… ;)

  43. Speaking of which, I wonder what odds the bookies will give on a shock Lab/Con coalition?

  44. Labour and SNP now slagging each other off,seem most lab mps rather be in opposition rather than work with SNP ,does make you wonder how on earth a lib lab pact would work,given the poor numbers

  45. Apparently messers G Brown, D Cameron and N Clegg are all in the House of Commons debating. Looks like the deal will be announced today, whichever way it goes.

    DC’s presence suggests a CON or CON/ LD government of some sort. Transition arrangements being discussed?

  46. @Amber
    that would be the logical conclusion,but since when has anything in this situation been “logical”
    Could be GB is telling Cameron he has a deal and is just informing accordingly.

  47. @ Amber

    Possibly. Discussing big, nationally, important issues, like Gordon asking Dave what kind of curtains he’d like in 10 Downing Street :)

  48. Billy – Lab Con coalition would be the funniest – with Clegg asking the Qs at PMQs :)

  49. Ian Watson of BBC tried to speak to Peter Mandelson in HoC a few mins ago. Claims that PM “told me to clear off – or words to that effect”.

    Hmmm maybe The Dark Lord should have been put into moderation? But given the way the Beeb behaved like a Murdoch rag yesterday I am with Peter on this one.

  50. The country is in a financial mess; all parties admit that the budget cuts are going to be tough.
    Surely it makes sense to have a collation of the left & Right, North & South to carry the country?
    A left leaning collation might suit the narrow interests of the parties but will it suit the country?

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