Whether there will be any long-term ramifications of the ensuing consequences of the hung parliament, a new Sun survey suggests that Thursday’s general election result was and is a cause for dismay for many around the country – although not so much that they would change their vote if given the chance.
After Thursday’s general election failed to garner a parliamentary majority for any party, Cameron announced last night that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties were forming a full coalition, (the first since 1945) ending five days of speculation and a political tug-of-war between the parties concerned.
Over half (58%) of the public are dismayed that the public vote resulted in a hung parliament, compared to only 22% who don’t mind and nine percent who are delighted. However, this concern is still not a good enough reason to vote differently if we could vote again. When asked whether they would have voted differently had they known a hung parliament would be the result, very few respondents assented. A mere seven percent would have voted differently, while an overwhelming 85% insist they would still have voted for the same party.
It seems that some of the disquiet surrounding the hung parliament result is due in part to the power it appeared to hand to Nick Clegg. In heading the party with the third largest share of the seats, the Lib Dem leader was effectively given the choice to side with either the Conservatives or Labour in order to form a majority, which gave him unprecedented clout in determining the election outcome. A sizeable 58% of the public think it was wrong that Clegg had this ability, compared to only 32% who thought this was acceptable.
Despite the speculation over who will form the next government drawing to a close, and the final cabinet emerging as a real mix of Conservative and Liberal Democrats, including the appointment of Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister to Cameron’s PM, it seems unlikely that this fractious episode will fade from the public’s mind any time soon. Watch this space.