Poll gives Lib Dem/Con coalition 60% approval

A YouGov poll suggests that the Lib Dem/Conservative coalition has the approval of 60% of the public – almost exactly the combined vote of the two parties in last week’s General Election.

Of course, the reality is slightly more complex than this, with a significant minority of Labour voters approving and not every Lib Dem or Conservative voter being in favour.

Here’s what YouGov say:

The British public broadly approve of the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition that, under Tory David Cameron, now forms the Government at Westminster. 60% of the British public say they approve of the Conservative-LibDem coalition, following an unprecedented week in British politics. This is more than double the percentage of those who disapprove (33%), and it seems that, Labour supporters excepted, the majority of those across the nation either strongly approve or tend to approve of the controversial union between these hitherto political rivals.

The approval rate among Labour supporters is at a less positive 25% in comparison to a huge 87% of Conservative supporters, and 69% of Liberal Democrat supporters.

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40 Comments

  • Andrea Gill 14th May '10 - 5:54pm

    Not bad at all! People may well end up looking for the “Lib / Con Coalition” option on their next ballot papers :-p

    “The approval rate among Labour supporters is at a less positive 25% in comparison to a huge 87% of Conservative supporters, and 69% of Liberal Democrat supporters”

    Chuffed that there’s 25% among Labour supporters though, even more stunned by the positive Conservative response.

  • does anybody know what is expected at Malton? Great idea to get all our activists to go to Birmingham this weekend to discuss something that has already been agreed. Should we not tried to encourage them to go to Malton to prop up our vote – in its 1st test?

  • I’m hoping the rest will come around but it’s important Cowley Street not get distracted by victory. The Labour party is actively in the process of re-writing history to say that we ‘chose’ the Conservatives rather than them to shovel up people who feel ‘betrayed’ by that ‘decision’. Did you not see Medhi Hassan’s appearance on Question Time.

    Here is what Angela Eagle is telling her constituents: “I would have preferred any outcome other than letting the Tories back into government. It is clear to me that they are set to use the current economic circumstances as cover to do what they always do, slash services and cut spending. You only have to cast your mind back to Cameron and Osborne’s speeches at the last Tory conference to see this, when they demanded an ‘age of austerity’ and railed against ‘big government’. The Parliamentary arithmetic meant that it was for the Liberal Democrats to determine the shape of the new government and they have sadly chosen to team up with the Tories. I expect you share my disappointment at this turn of events, disappointment that no doubt turns to bitterness for those who actually voted Liberal Democrat in the expectation of progressive politics.”

    You need to get some of the people who were involved in the negotiations with Labour to come public about the breakdown now, even though they’re concerned about cabinet posts, or Labour will be able to cement the idea in people’s minds that we actively chose the Conservatives rather than being left in the lurch by the Labour backbenchers choosing easy life in opposition (or under FPTP) over coalition.

    http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/6545/lordfalconer.jpg

    (Posted as ever in the hopes that people actually read LibDem Voice)

  • Andrea Gill 14th May '10 - 6:42pm

    “Did you not see Medhi Hassan’s appearance on Question Time.”

    And what a wonderful favour he did the Labour party with his stellar performance. Not…

  • paul barker 14th May '10 - 7:14pm

    This doesnt really tell us anything usefull. I will be glad when the polls get back to asking which Party people intend to vote for, that would give us some idea of how our support is holding up .

  • Whoah. Are you saying Mehdi Hasan, Melanie Philips, the “disgruntled Lib Dem voters” who post here with their bad grammar and spelling, and the “millions” of new Labour members, are all out of touch with public opinion on the coalition?

    Didn’t see that one coming!

    Majority-of-British-people-tired-of-partisan-bullshit-especially-from-Labour-who-had-13-years-to-be-“progressive” shocker!

  • Patrick Smith 14th May '10 - 7:40pm

    I am in favour of the `Coalition Government’ running its full course and the passage of the 55% H of C votes to dissolve the present Parliament that I hope lasts until May 15th 2015.

    The public approval rating is important but clearly there are tough times ahead as the Government takes on some of the most important decisions since 1945 to reshape the British Economy and get youngsters back to work, as 1 in 5 aged 18-24 are not in Training,Further or Higher Education or Jobs.

    It is the task of our Liberal Democrat Election pledges to confirm that Britain becomes a Fairer place to live for the worst off 4 million,young people and the growing numbers of pensioners and over 80`s.

    On Civil Liberties there is a lot of clear water for Liberal Democrats, with a shared Tory pledge, to see the abolition of ID Cards,the end of finger printing of children without parental consent,returning rights to non-violent protest ( i.e. outside Parliament) the ending of storage of internet and e mail records without good reason and upholding freedom of speech,adopting the Scottish model for holding DNA d/b and the important passage of a Freedom Bill with individual liberal liberty at its core.

    I would like to see Nick Clegg our Deputy Prime Minister making visits to the metropolitan inner cities and East End of London and all industrial heartlands to revive the manufacturing industries and to test the pulse of grass-roots opinion and issues concerning the work of this new progressive Government.

  • Mark said:

    “As a party we should have been bold and said a plague on both your houses. A golden opportunity has been missed; if an alliance had to be made a rainbow alliance of progressive thought could have been made.”

    Unfortunately not, did you not see that the votes weren’t there. It was actually opposed by a number of senior Labour MPs – see John Reid, Dianne Abbot etc… all opposed this idea and preferred the option of sorting their own party out. Plus do recall what teh Labour governmnet has actually presided over in the last 13 years. ID Cards, An illegal war, a dependency state, centralisation and bureaucracy and a disasterous finacial legacy… Hardly liberal or progressive.

    Had we opted for keeping Brown in power, we would have had a weak government, very unpopular in the country and chaos about what the policies were – ministers would have stuck with the old agenda and we’d have got nothing – we’d have signed ourselves up to a party which would then decide in fixing its own leadership how to stitch us up.

    The other option – the Tory minority government would have still left us vulnerable to attack, let the Tory right dictate the agenda and marginalised us completely. I’d far rather take our chances than drift in the wilderness for another 30 years. The electorate would have punnished us for showing that a Hung Parliament didn’t work…

    We should give our team a chance and as has been said elsewhere here, get on with our job – building the party and campaigning on the ground.

  • Absolutely right, there never was an easy solution, we may be unpopular going in with the tories, but we’d be hated even more for propping up a discredited labour government with another unelected prime minister in charge (and anyone thinking ti would be a rainbow-filled paradise of progressiveness must have forgotten the last 13 years). if we let the tories govern alone we’d be accused of putting pigheaded self-interest before the country.

    Either way, you get it in the neck. Welcome to politics…

  • I totally understand people’s reticence over the coalition, and they may well be proven right…time will tell. I’ve got a feeling cameron might actually be happier with this deal than a small majority tory government. In one fell swoop, he’s neutered the right (at least temporarily), plopped his party onto the centre ground and put labour in a quandary over how to respond: a very blair-like move, his clause 4 moment maybe?

  • let;s see how popular the coaltion is when it actually starts governing.All new governments get a bit of a bounce but it never lasts.Given the task facing this government I expect this poll will be telling a very different story in a few short months.The public are an ungrateful impatient lot.

  • Undoubtedly. LIb dems will likely be hated for the cuts that are to come, and our protestations of reigning back the tory axemen will fall on deaf ears. Labour will attempt to seek advantage as if they wouldn’t do exactly the same if they were in power. But the job’s gotta be done, and better to be there trying to ensure the only cuts made are the necessary ones, not the ones desirable to achieve the ‘small state’ ideology.

  • @Alan et al – We should work with the Tories to allow a certain amount of ‘constructive disagreement’; it isn’t in their interests or ours for voters to see the Parties as one and the same and for all our voters to dessert to Labour. The coalition has a large enough majority over Labour that dissent and disagreement can be factored in without breaking the coalition outright. Failure for this to happen will just play into Labour’s hands and I have to say they’ve been conducting themselves disgracefully since the talks broke down. Ironically, the ones who torpedoed the Lib-Lab pact are being honest and those who supported it (their negotiators and the lobby fodder) are actively spinning about how we ‘chose’ the Tories. We don’t owe them the favour of being an orderly coalition.

  • @Niklas – To be fair those figures aren’t necessarily measuring popularity of the decision. I think the decision to enter the coalition things being as they were was not only correct but to not do so (losing the opportunity to pass our policy, leaving the nation with an unstable Tory minority bound to get a majority in the autumn) would have been inexcusable. Nevertheless I’d still say it was “a bad thing” for the party and will damage us; the difference is these considerations ought not to influence our judgment – I’d be ashamed to be part of a political body which only thought of its own interests. Fiat justitia et ruat caelum, as it were.

  • I wonder what they are reporting on… it can hardly be more than gut feelings at this stage.
    Come six months and the result could be very different. Depending on how individual purses are hit.
    how they will feel about us will rather depend on how fair the hits are.

  • Patrick Smith 14th May '10 - 10:04pm

    The article recommended by Nicklas Smith by Peter Kellner in the `New Statesman’ appears to confirm that Nick Clegg`s charisma in the first TV debate that resulted in an immediate in 10% increased polling eventually was halved on May 6th but prevented the Tories from winning an overall majority or close enough one to do Government with a few NI friends.

    Too many voters resorted to tribal politics on May 6th especially in London where 77 L/D Cllrs were defeated after serving their communities well with much hard work and ambition but were caught in the unexpected tsunami corkscrew national swing to Labour, in all East London Boroughs.

    The loss of L/D control of Islington,Richmond and joint administrations in Southwark,Camden and Brent and Waltham Forest has now paradoxically led to the first Liberal Ministers in Government for 70 years.

    I believe that is was desperate and cynical plan of Gordon Brown to calculate that his purposes to stay put in Downing Street would be best served by holding a Local and General Election on May 6th in London.

    Brown deprived the residents of fairness to vote for Local Councillors in London Boroughs on May 6th.and amputated local issues and work records of community service as he choose to destroy belief in local democracy or that of Labour.

  • Good points Duncan. As long as its done constructively there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to air their disagreements – labour had plenty of dissenters to government policy and it didn’t tear their party apart. It’s important that we don’t act like we no longer care about tuition fees, trident etc, but be straight with the public in saying that as a minority party we’re not gonna get all the polcies we want implemented.

    Probably it will damage us, but who knows, maybe the media will grow up and give us some credit for taking what was a very difficult decision. But that will likely be a very cold day in hell…

  • Vince Cable’s body language is terrible at the moment.If there’s a book open on him being the first to resign from government I’ll have a few quid on that.

  • vince thurnell 14th May '10 - 10:52pm

    I am one of those asked the question on yougov about the coalition and be very mindful that the question was somewhat weighted, as the question wasn’t ‘do you agree with a coalition government’ it was actually ‘do you think the Conservatives were right to enter a coalition government’. It didnt even ask whether the Lib Dems were right to enter a coalition. Im not saying that a majority wasn’t in favour just that it was a very leading question probably because the poll was for the sun.

  • Matthew Huntbach 15th May '10 - 12:04am

    Patrick Smith

    Too many voters resorted to tribal politics on May 6th especially in London where 77 L/D Cllrs were defeated after serving their communities well with much hard work and ambition but were caught in the unexpected tsunami corkscrew national swing to Labour, in all East London Boroughs.

    This was entirely to be expected. The smaller turnout in local elections tends to be of people who have an interest in politics or local affairs, and so will be more likely to have noticed our local activity. When the local election coincides with a general election, about twice as many people vote, the extra people being those who take less interest in what is going on around them locally. So the extra voters will tend to be people who are still thinking of politics as vaguely “Labour v Conservative” as they see it portrayed in the national media.

    Anyone who was on a polling station on May 6th would have seen this. I was on one in a polling district which has been heavily worked by us for years, in a normal local election most people who come in know the drill and are very familiar with their local LibDem councillors and their activity. This time, however, there were quite a few people coming through who were hardly aware there was a local election as well, so quite likely having been handed these funny yellow ballot papers with the three-vote requirement just marked them for the party they were going for on the basis of national politics.

  • ‘…The day before I was elected leader, Mr Cameron suggested we join them.He talked about a “progressive alliance”.This talk of alliances comes up a lot, doesn’t it?Everyone wants to be in our gang.So I want to make something very clear today.Will I ever join a Conservative government?No.Will I ever join a Labour gove…rnment?No.I will never allow the Liberal Democrats to be a mere annex to another party’s agenda…’
    Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat Spring Conference, Sunday 09/03/2008

  • One simple message for those people unhappy with the coalition:

    Grow-up, get a spine, or go and join the Greens or the continuing Liberal Party…

  • @jim
    does that include Vince Cable?

  • Courageofconvictions 15th May '10 - 1:45am

    Where was the poll conducted?

    Probably in the classrooms of Eton

  • I think you would find that if the public were polled then 80% would bring back the death penalty with the same percentage also voting for the deportation of particularly dark skinned people.

    Does that make it right?

    In the UK when polled, a majority of the public will affirm the existence of ghosts, that there might be something in astrology, and that Bob Holness of countdown fame played the opening guitar on “Layla”.

    Does that prove that these are true?

  • I think you’ll find the large chunk of the 60% approval is people who “tend to approve” .Not a very promising start when the cuts haven’t even started.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 15th May '10 - 8:21am

    Unfortunately it’s not clear (to me) what those figures mean. Do they mean 69% of those who voted Lib Dem last week approve? That would be reasonably good for the party. Or do they mean 69% who now support the Lib Dems – in the light of what’s happened – approve? That would be rather meaningless. Or is it just that funny thing YouGov use to apportion “party ID”? I’ve never understood that anyway.

    Of course, we are still very much in a honeymoon period, and the acid test will be when public spending cuts start to bite.

  • Andrew Suffield 15th May '10 - 9:14am

    Do they mean 69% of those who voted Lib Dem last week approve?

    I’d imagine not, since this is not something you can measure. The legitimacy of opinion polls is a bit fragile anyway.

  • What Mark Yeates said.

    I am still gobsmacked that so few people have twigged what the failure to get PR will do to us at the next election. AV has the real possibility to hammer us harder than FPTP as the unpopular 3rd party.

    Read these 2 articles by the director of research for the Electoral Reform Society.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/13/coalition-alternative-vote-liberal-democrats
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/12/pollwatch-liberal-democrats-conservatives-coalition

  • Patrick Smith 15th May '10 - 12:41pm

    The adoption of `Fair Votes’ i.e. AV,with time scale for Referendum, if the Coalition lasts, until May 7th 2015,is the cause celebre.There is all to play for, until then.

  • @Chippy

    So which of the other two parties was offering AV+ or STV then?

    I must have missed the bit where all the backbench ‘neanderthal’ Labour MPs suddenly decided PR was a good thing.

    The fact is that it is up to Lib Dems to stick at it and prove we are party of government, with the interests of the whole nation at heart. As long as our ministers make sure commitments are kept to, then I think we will be able to hold our heads high.

  • George Kendall 15th May '10 - 3:01pm

    jim said “One simple message for those people unhappy with the coalition: Grow-up, get a spine, or go and join the Greens or the continuing Liberal Party…”

    That makes me angry. Jim are you deliberately trying to drive loyal party members out of the party? Anyone who doesn’t like the coalition is still a valued member. As Liberal Democrats, we value dissent. Those who disagree with serve a useful role in providing constructive criticism from within.

    We may be in coalition with the Tories, but both the Tories and Labour would dearly love the Lib Dems to disappear. For our movement to survive we need to keep our unity, and strive to elect Liberal Democrats at every opportunity. Whether pro or anti agreement, every new Lib Dem councillor is another step forward to a fairer and better country.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 15th May '10 - 3:18pm

    I wrote:
    “Do they mean 69% of those who voted Lib Dem last week approve?”
    Andrew replied:
    “I’d imagine not, since this is not something you can measure.”

    Basically, you’d do it by asking the people surveyed how they voted last week.

  • Anthony Aloysius St 15th May '10 - 3:20pm

    And in fact I asked Anthony Wells what they did, and I see he has confirmed that it is based on how people say they voted last week.

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