The 2010 election in hindsight

Anthony WellsHead of European Political and Social Research
February 17, 2011, 12:05 AM GMT+0

Nine months after the General Election, we have asked about people’s opinions on the result in hindsight. Do they think Labour deserved to lose, did the Conservatives deserve to come top, and would rather that Labour had won?

Firstly, we asked whether people thought that Labour did indeed deserve to lose the election - 59% of people think that the did deserve to lose, 34% disagreed (this was, as you might expect, a largely partisan answer, although 16% of people who said they voted Labour in 2010 also said they deserved to lose. This is not necessarily an illogical stance to take; one might well think that a government has run its course and deserves to lose, but want to maximise their representation in opposition and prevent them losing too many seats).

The other side of the coin is whether people think the Conservatives deserved to come first in the General Election. Here only 38% of people agreed, while 53% disagreed. Unsurprisingly the vast majority of people who voted Tory in 2010 said the party deserved to come top (though 9% disagreed, and were presumably voting for the least worst option), majorities of Labour and Lib Dem voters thought the Tories did not deserve to come top.

Putting these together we asked whether people thought that, with the benefit of hindsight, it would have been better if Labour had won, and asked if they think the Coalition has done a better job than Labour would have. 34% would have preferred Labour had won, and 38% think the Coalition has done better than Labour alone would have.

See the survey details and full results here