We have the first few polls about the coalition coming in. YouGov’s daily polling for the Sun this week found 56% approval, 38% disapproval on Wednesday, growing to 60% approval, 33% disapproval on Thursday. There was scepticism about how long it would last though – 28% think it will be less than a year, with only 10% thinking it will last the intended 5 years.

ComRes also produced a poll for the Daily Politics today, asking about hopes for the coalition. There was broad optimism about the its ability to reduce the deficit (60% thought it would be effective, 29% ineffective), 54% thought it would clean up politics, 36% disagreed. People were less optimistic how the coalition would deal with the NHS (43% thought it would be effective, 45% that it wouldn’t) and crime (45% effective, 45% ineffective).

204 Responses to “Polls on the coalition”

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  1. Can someone point me to Anthony’s latest request re: discussion? Thanks.

  2. @ Laszlo

    Latin America remains interesting though


    My wife is colombian and we have property there. Since right wing Uribe took charge 8 years ago and sarted with US help to control and defeat the FARC Guerilla/Druglord organisation and the paramiltaries things have got better and better.

    The Colombian peso has doubled in value, the infrastructure is beyond recognition, they have unversal healthcare (admittedly very basic) and education. In 10 years it will produce more oil that Venezuela.

    There are about to have another election in which Uribe cannot stand, but we are all hoping for a smooth transfer of power.

    Similarly Brazil is going from strenght to strength by in their case under a far more left wing govt.

    Chile is one of the safest and fastest developing countries in the world with a high standard of living . They have just had a had a smooth transfer of democratic power from a left wing to a right wing Govt

    Uruguay is also on the up and up.

    All this has been bought about IMO by stability which along with allowing resonable individual and economic freedom is the key to developement.

    Icidentally, France is investing massively in South America.

  3. @ Xiby

    I take your point.
    The day to day decisions are very important. I hope they get them right.

    @James L

    As I said I hope Clegg does get rewarded for his bravery :D

  4. @ Xiby

    Your post IS partisan :-), but I can’t help agreeing with the tendency in it. And the points are well made and precise.

    One more thing (from which a lot will follow): there is no doubt that the coalition will make an attempt of rolling back the change in welfare policy: poverty focus (deserving and underserving poor) instead of social safety (even though the Labour government was not great in this, but attempted) – charity instead of social security. And it would fit wonderfully with the liberal wing of the LibDems.

  5. @ John Fletcher

    I agree with you on the key source of development with the addition of the breaking up (or in some countries significantly weakening) of the previous state-business/landowner alliance.

  6. @Laszlo

    I know it is ;) but I had to share my political (thus partisan) view on the coalition, in particular with regards their claim to being a progressive one. Such an analyses in not meant as a rant but simply to put it in a context, and thus be in a position to assess the political field Lab will have to fill if it is to be successful again ;)

  7. @ Xiby – “progressive” is a subjective and relative term and not at all useful, though apparently extremely fashionable at the moment. All new governments are, by definition, “progressive” insofar as they seek to progress a particular vision of society.

    As for the rest of it – the coalition has only existed since Tuesday evening. It’s not realistic to expect any new government to have detailed policies on absolutely everything when their ministers are new to their posts, let alone when there are the details of this extraordinary coalition still to be worked out as well.

  8. Yes, “progressive” is a dubious term. Really has some 1930s sound – and now some found it appropriate to take it out, but in contrast with the 30s justifying anything with it :-(.

    I am wondering if just as in the case of Labour-New Labour represented a move it the party elite, there should be something similar for the LibDems: LibDems – ???.

  9. “Yes, “progressive” is a dubious term”

    I agree Laszlo.

    It is thrown around with gusto at present.
    No one ever says what they think it means.

    It’s just one of those silly labels to imply “good”-ie “progressive”=good…everything else =bad.

    It is old fashioned & irrelevant.

    This coalition stretches from John Redwood to Simon Hughes-how on earth do you characterise that in one silly word?

  10. @ Colin

    Yes, or any other coalition (cf. “coalition of the willing”).

    This coalition is a result of an impasse in which, apart from a very few actors, everybody played somebody elses role – not very willingly. Little to do with ideologies or ideas. The outcome could be really interesting and enlightening. Or more likely: very bad theatre.

  11. @ Laszlo

    So-you think a “coalition of the unwilling” ? ;-)

  12. @ Colin

    Yes. At least that would describe some aspects of the coalition correctly :-) :-) :-)

  13. Heads up – Conservative Home saying that a post-coalition poll has been done by ComRes.

    Shows Tories +1 on 38%, LD down 3 on 21% and Labour up 4 on 34%

  14. What on earth is the point of a poll now-No Queens Speech. No Budget. No Labour leader…………..wait a minute………….was Brown worth 4%………phew, that was close ;-)

  15. ComRes

    “By going into coalition with the Conservatives, the Lib Dems appear to have sold out on their principles.”

    Agree 41% Lib Dem voters 34%
    Disagree 47% 61%

    “I believe Nick Clegg should have opted for a coalition with Labour rather than a deal with the Tories.”

    Agree 35% Lib Dem voters 33%
    Disagree 55% 59%

  16. Some interesting figures. Seems logical enough (LD support fall, Labour pick up those votes, Tories increase slightly due to being in power)

    From the questions/answers Mike posted, it seems as though more are (still) willing to give this coalition a change than not.

  17. More results, this time from ICM in Telegraph:


    Pretty much same changes as shown in other poll.

  18. ComRes for Indy on Sun/S Mirror: Con 38% (+1 on general election result) Lab 34% +4 LD 21% -3. One third of LD voters say party “sold out”.

  19. Colin
    “What on earth is the point of a poll now”

    Presumably to see what the public thinks of the idea of a Con-Lib Coalition. It seems to have driven 3% of voters from Lib to Lab. Presumably those who voted Lib just to keep Con out.

  20. Another has been released by the Telegraph (ICM). I posted a link to the article but it’s under “awaiting moderation”. Just giving a heads up to that poll too.

    As for the point in polls right now – I agree that they mainly just to give an idea on what the public think of the coalition. Clearly they aren’t meant to be “Who would win an election?” type polls.

  21. Heads up – Conservative Home saying that a post-coalition poll has been done by ComRes.

    Shows Tories +1 on 38%, LD down 3 on 21% and Labour up 4 on 34%
    Thanks for posting this, Tristan.

    The ups & downs are since the GE, are they not?

    However, the last ComRes poll prior to the GE was:

    CON 37% thus the +1% is accurate
    LAB 28% so +6% on prior ComRes poll
    LD 28% so -7% on prior ComRes poll

    An increase of 6% for the losing party within a week of the election. Not so much of a honeymoon for the coalition ;-)

    But it is also a tough baseline for Labour & its new leader(s). To build consistently upwards from 34% will be a challenge we must rise to 8-)

  22. That small change might not be all “phew Brown’s gone” – might be the “harlot effect”.

    Either way, if that were the result of a general election in 18 months time, LD would be down another 10 seats. Losing 25% of your seats in less than 2 years isn’t so hot. On this Polling, though, perhaps it wouldn’t matter, we’d be looking at almost a mirror image situation, Labour largest party with guess who in coalition no2.

  23. @Tristan

    just separate the http like such ht tp for example and the system won’t moderate you.

    Plz link it again as i can’t find the telegraph poll.

  24. 21%? I was fearing far worse. That’ll be the beard-and-sandals mob storming off to Labour and the Greens, then.

  25. Imagine 2 years time and the Lib Dems are down to12% in the opinion polls.

    Labour has 45% and the Cons have 34%.

  26. Looking at the Com Res Poll just imagine if people had voted at the GE knowing what we know now – Labour largest party and Tories unable to cobble togeher a coalition with the Libs because they and the Libs couldn’t get a majority!

  27. “The ups & downs are since the GE, are they not?”
    – Yes, you are right. My mistake. Post-general election polls :-)


    – Sure thing: ht tp://w ww .telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7728903/Coalition-wins-public-approval-in-ICM-poll.html

  28. Do you really think the change in polls would be down to Brown going? Or could it just be down to that momentous change that we now call a ConDem Alliance???

  29. Lib Dems returning to Labour.

    Surprised Cons not higher though.

    Poll puts Labour id a great position to build on

  30. Lol, considering how accurate the pollsters were re: Lib Dem vote before the election, maybe we should take a few % more of these figures and give those to Labour too?

  31. ICM VI % almost identical to ComRes.

    Here is an extract from the Telegraph Article:

    Overall, the Conservatives have gained one point since the election and are on 38 per cent. The Lib Dems, by contrast, have slipped significantly since polling day and are down three points to 21 per cent. Labour have gained three points to 33 per cent.

    Labour’s rise exactly mirrored the Lib Dems’ fall – suggesting that disillusioned supporters of Nick Clegg’s party have simply switched to Labour.

  32. ICM – Altenative Vote

    From the Telegraph:
    A majority of voters (56 per cent) would back a change in the voting system from the current first-past-the-post regime to the Alternative Vote system, where multiple preferences are allowed. The Conservatives have promised a referendum on this.

    Almost two in three voters – 63 per cent – back fixed-term parliaments, another key coalition proposal which would end the current right of the prime minister to decide the election date.

  33. ICM Labour Leadership

    From the Telegraph:
    In the Labour leadership race, David Miliband was backed by 32 per cent of those polled, with Harriet Harman in second place on 11 per cent. Ed Miliband was on nine per cent while Ed Balls was on eight per cent and both Andy Burnham and Jon Cruddas both scored just two per cent.

    Among those who voted Labour in the general election, David Miliband had an even bigger lead over the field – scoring 44 per cent. However, at the time when the poll was being carried out, he was the only declared candidate. His brother Ed has now officially declared himself a candidate.

  34. Guys – where are you all? I’m getting lonely here!

    3 topics – VI, AV & LLC – surely somebody has something to say ;-)

  35. This isn’t meant to be partisan, but why do so many of the candidates for Lab leadership look so weird? Alan Johnson has ruled himself out, but i would have thought he would appeal most to floating voters because he appears to be normal. The Millibands and Balls all have mad pop eyes. I know that this shouldn’t influence voters, but in the age of television strange looks do matter. D Milliband allways looks like the school sneak to me.

  36. Amber – I was just going back to try and see if the losing party in a GE ever get a polling BOOST the week after their defeat. Doesn’t seem to be the case!!

  37. Lol, Pete B, I was just about to say something similar. Ed Milliband has a funny voice and It’s starting to annoy me already. He sounds like he forgot to take a toffee out of his mouth before the interview.
    Balls does have poppy eyes and I DID think David Milliband was fine, but now I’ll always think of him as the school sneak!!

  38. Sue,
    Yes I’d temporarily forgotten the half-strangled voice of Ed M. These things do matter to the voters. I think John Redwood lost out on the Tory leadership many years ago (to Major?) partly because of his slightly odd looks.

  39. Redwood, yes. Didn’t he end up with the nickname “Vulcan”?

  40. Yes, and of course the all-time classic was Alec Douglas-Home in the first TV election in 64. His head looked like parchment stretched over a skull, against Wilson’s bluff hearty Yorkshireman.

    Blair of course was the ultimate charmer, and that’s why he won elections.

  41. @Amber Star
    It is a little bit premature to predict the outcome of Labour leadership contest, but I think D. Milliband is a clear forerunner. What is important, however, is that Labour remain united in this. In the French Socialist Party we lived a real nightmare after the defeat of Segolene Royal, the party almost split amongst accusations of fraud and a very close result (50,1 for Martine Aubry, 49,9 for Royal), it went way below the 20% mark at the 2009 European Election (16.5%, barely ahead of the Greens at 16,3), but thanks to the moderate and at the same time courageous stance of Aubry (I recognize this although I voted for Royal) it is now the 1st party of France with 30% at the Regional Election of March 2010.
    You understand that 34% is almost a dream, so it should not be spoiled by infighting. The maturity of political parties (and of individuals at that matter) is proven in defeat more than in victory, and Labour must undergo a complete renewal for the sake of all people of the center-left that it now represents alone. As for the 21% of LD, it’s a mixed result, it may go either way depending of what they accomplish in government. At any rate 38 + 21 = 59, i.e. two points down compared to GE – clearly no honeymoon.

  42. Yes Virgilio the numbersin the poll are in the MOE and 64% are in favour of the coalition

  43. I’ve been told that our new Pm reminds some of their old school Head Boy….so Millibands beware. Am I imagining it or did not Blair in fact invent the shirt and text free speech in the 1997 General Election?

    Thw whole way through I thought this was more 74 than 79 and I think it was…the then Liberal leader also wanted a coalition with the Conservatives…his party would not follow…

    And on Conservatives and coalitions….the Liberals have done this twice before…the Liberal Unionists under Austin Chamberlain and the rump of the Liberal Party in the 1930s joining the National Government. In both cases they did not come out of it well. Perhaps third time lucky…perhaps not.

    Again on a historical note – Labour after its loss in 1970 began its flirtation with shall we say more ‘left wing’ solutions to the UK’s problems…a process that was repeated and accelerated after 1979. They did it again in a fratircidal bloodbath in the 1950s. Will they do this again? Too ealry to say…

    But this might, just might present them with a generational moment to re-emerge as the single, dominant cntre left party…a prize that has eluded them since 1974…with maybe the brief exception of 97-2001 and even then the Lib Dem remained second placed in much of the south of England…

    All very interesting….

  44. @ Jack Jackson
    I agree, 64% is a very good sign of approval and hope for the coalition. Our disagreement is rather a matter of semantics. When I speak of honeymoon, I mean at least over 10% compared to the result of the election, as it was the case with Sarkozy (68% after his election with 31% at the first round and 53% at the second), Obama (70% after his election with 53%), Papandreou (75% after his victory with 44%) etc.

  45. As one little Post script …its very intesrting that the coalition policy of increasing the bar to call a general election via a motion of confidence has been effectively raised above 50% + 1…was not mentioned in either party’s manifesto….nor will there be a referendum…so much for major constiutional changes being subject to public approval…

    Also what about the doctrine of manifesto policies and the house of lords right to vote things down…maybe the cross benchers will feel emboldened….

    Also why do we have to have 5 year fixed parliaments? It couldn’t be just in the interest of those now in government could it? It would have made more sense to have a four year fixed term which would be in line with Scotland Wales and NI and also most other democracies…outside France….

    I suspect by the time the referendum comes the coalition may be in choppy waters and anything the government suggests will get voted down despite merits or demerits…probably why the Conservatives felt able to make the concession…

  46. I find the implicit belief amongst many that Labour and Lib-Dem are fighting for the ‘Centre-Left’ vote. We all know that left and right are over simplistic, but my understanding of Lib-Dem overall philosophy (and I’m very much open to correction) is that like the Tories they are against too much state intervention and control in peoples’ lives. If true, doesn’t this give them a lot of common ground with the Tories, especially as the Tories support the Welfare State, NHS etc, even if they don’t throw quite so much money at them?

  47. Various posts mention Scotland so a few local points might be interesting
    1 Cameron is already conflating Con and Lib Dem votes together to claim Scottish legitimacy. It is hard to see this doing the Lib dems much good in Scotland and may be a portent elsewhere.
    2 It is true that the Scottish Parl elections will be an early test and the Lib dems may not only fight the Tories but lose a seat or two to them
    3 From a Scottish (Labour) perspective there has to be a real chnce of the Lib dems becoming the local Tory brand. The term National Liberal was used to describe some Tory Government MPs until the 60s.

  48. It would be interesting to see if the polls change further against the LibDems if Labour could make up its mind what to do with the pre-coalition “negotiations”.

    They have to make up their mind if the public considered them kind of stupid if they admitted that they were double crossed by the LibDems (to squeeze more out of the Tories) hence vote looser or they would consider that exposing the LibDem “negotiations” (non-existent intention) is a vote winner.

    Obviously, I don’t have evidence :-(, but the logic of the events suggests that it was the LibDems who did not want to negotiate with Labour and not vice versa (legitimacy could have been created by saying that the LibDems could not accept the conservative proposal for these, these, these reasons as these would have been harmful for the country).

  49. With the post election opinion poll showing an increase in the Labour potential vote at the expense of the LibDems, presumably this means the plans to reform the electoral system (at least the one to reduce seat numbers and remove the Labour bias in the number of votes needed to win a seat) will be made a priority by the Coalition as it will benefit both partners in the event of the Coalition falling apart and a snap General Election occurring sooner rather than later?

  50. As the coalition have agreed on an AV referendum does that mean a NO vote will keep the coalition stable?
    odds on a YES vote must be very slim
    smallest parties [Greens UKIP, BNP] won’t stand to benefit with AV will they?
    Labour and T

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