You pay your money and you take your choice


Con Lab LDem UKIP Grn
25/03/2015 ComRes 35 35 8 10 7
25/03/2015 YouGov 35 35 8 12 6
23/03/2015 Populus 31 33 9 16 5
23/03/2015 Ashcroft 33 33 8 12 5
22/03/2015 Opinium 36 33 7 14 6
22/03/2015 Survation 30 34 10 17 4
22/03/2015 YouGov 33 35 8 14 5
averages 33.3 34.0 8.3 13.6 5.4

Here is a summary of the recent opinion polls. To my inexpert eye it looks like there is almost no post-budget bounce for the Tories. There is some movement towards the two main parties, and that this appears to be coming from UKIP. It also looks like there is some movement from the Greens to the Liberal Democrats.

There is still much to play for. There are many yet to make up their minds, and it is reported that up to half of those able to suggest how they vote are also saying that they may change their minds.

5 Responses to You pay your money and you take your choice

  1. I think most of these are national polls – and the election is decided in the marginals. Outside the Marginals we could all say that we are voting for Screaming Lord Such – and it would not matter (unless a huge number of us actually went and did so! – It’s a strategy called “vote stupid” to make the old parties scared of what the lottery election system might actually do).

    So what is happening in the marginals – and given what is happening to Labour in Scotland, how sure are we about which constituencies in Scotland are “marginal”?

    This does raise the touchy problem of what to do if the Cons +/- UKIP are a distance short of a majority. It looks as if the alternative will be Labour, but they may also be short of a majority.

    If Labour is ahead of the Cons it is then not so much “will Labour dance to the SNP tune” as “will the Conservatives for party advantage force Labour to seek nationalist support”. It is always possible for the Cons to say they will provide Labour with Confidence and Supply support on condition that they do not deal with the SNP. Pigs might fly.

    If the Cons are ahead of Labour, it is also open to the SNP (if they are as fearful as they claim of further austerity) to publicly limit their demands and offer their support to Labour and achieve their aim of keeping the Cons out. They might do this by agreeing that there would be free votes on any devolution proposals. Haggises might fly.

  2. outsidethemarginals: It is a brave person who is prepared to make a prediction as to the final result. Are you brave?

    It is beginning to look like a minority Government rather than coalition, with a confidence and supply arrangement with whoever will do a deal. However, in our electoral system small margins give big gains, and if one or other party manages to open a small lead then a majority Government is definitely possible.

  3. I would agree that a minority government looks most likely although I am not sure whether there will be a formal confidence and supply agreement. My thoughts are fairly fluid.

    I think there may be a lack of palatable partners for coalition:
    – UKIP may fail to breakthrough or may over-play their hand (referendum within a year?)
    – Liberals may be too shattered to go back into coalition with the Tories and I do not think the electorate will tolerate them going into coalition with Labour (many of whom have grown to hate the Liberals)
    – the SNP may also over-play its hand
    If there was to be a formal coalition I think a continuation of the current set-up is the most possible – if the Liberals even want it.

    What may be different to previous parliaments is that the opposition in the next one may be very fractured – which may make a minority government easier. The Fixed Term Parliaments act may also concentrate minds and force people to work out loose arrangements.

  4. It is always possible, in spite of fixed terms, that we see ourselves with another General Election in pretty short order (perhaps in May 2016). This would certainly test the resources of all the parties.

    However, we have seen Governments survive on very small margins (Labour 1974-1979, for example). There seems less attrition nowadays, probably due to younger MPs.

    Can the United Kingdom survive another five years of Cameron?

  5. Can the United Kingdom survive another five years of Cameron?

    You are beginning to think along Presidential lines rather than Parliamentary lines.

    We elect a Parliament; from that a minority Conservative government may emerge – possibly by default. If that happened I very much doubt that we would see 5 more years of Cameron. He has already said that “two terms is enough”; many in his party may feel “two failures to gain a majority is enough”.

    The Fixed Terms Parliament Act does allow for a new election “in pretty short order” – but to what purpose? The endless (false) optimism of many parties – “just one more heave” – may make them think that we would get a significantly different result. But perhaps, just perhaps, we have moved to a situation where the country cannot / will not decide on a single-party majority government. So to “throw the dice again” is to hope that “this time” the lottery election system may tip your party in. That is deeply cynical.

    We live in a Parliamentary Democracy, we elect a parliament (even though the electoral system means it is not representative of the diversity of views in the country). It is up to Parliament to deal with the electorate’s decision – which is probably that we do not trust any of you with majority power. That may mean that all of them have to come up with a “Programme for Parliament” rather than a “Programme for Government”. Are our parliamentarians – and prospective parliamentarians – up to it – or are they just too interested in power fuelled by the arrogance that it is they and their respective parties who are “right”.

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