Majority Conservative government the ‘least bad option’ – voters

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All possible governments have net negative ratings among voters – but a Conservative majority is considered the least bad possibility for the country

Just two weeks before the general election, the race is too close to call. A hung parliament is the most likely outcome, and as the parties have come round to the fact the campaign has become a discussion of which combinations of parties may be able to govern, and which arrangement may be best for the UK. The Conservatives have focused on a ‘chaotic’ Labour-SNP pact, the SNP have been promised to lock out the Tories with Labour, and the Lib Dems want to steer either main party towards the centre.

Any coalition deal, however, will be made in the back rooms of Westminster, not by the voters. New YouGov research offers voters a choice between the potential governments that could emerge after May 7th, and asks them to say how good or bad each would be for the UK.

A party needs 326 seats for majority, although slightly fewer could pass muster (Sinn Fein don’t take their seats in Westminster). However unlikely – we are currently forecasting 279 seats for the Tories – a Conservative majority is considered the least bad option for the UK, with a net rating of -3. A majority Labour government, also unlikely, has a rating of -10.

The Lib Dems’ argument that the value of their vote lies in grounding either the Conservatives or Labour is supported by this evidence, as adding the Lib Dems to either party group creates the third and fourth ranking coalition.

The only arrangement bar a grand coalition that our forecast gives a majority – Labour the Lib Dems and the SNP –  is ranked much more negatively at -37, not dissimilar from Labour/SNP/Lib Dem and a Tory/Lib Dem/UKIP government. The least popular arrangement is the one with most parties: Tory, Lib Dem, UKIP and DUP.

Conservative and Labour voters both place coalitions with the Lib Dems as best for the UK, behind majority governments. 

 Party rankings of possible governments
 Ratings (good minus bad) for how good the following governments would be for
 the UK, by party. Click table headings to sort        

  Con Lab Lib Dem UKIP
 Con, Lab -42 -43 -30 -48
 Lab, Lib Dem, SNP -91 12 -37 -77
 Con, Lib Dem, UKIP, DUP -18 -86 -57 -8
 Lab, SNP -89 10 -52 -78
 Con, Lib Dem, UKIP 5 -86 -47 21
 Con, Lib Dem 61 -76 47 -32
 Lab, Lib Dem -70 23 35 -69
 Con 93 -79 -5 16
 Lab -72 80 -30 -53
        Apr.21-22, 2015

The Lib Dems say a coalition with the Conservatives would be better for the UK (+47) than one with Labour (+35), and they rank an arrangement with Labour and the SNP as higher (-37) than one with the Conservatives and UKIP (-47).

See the full poll results

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