Appetite for Change? UK Post-Election Analysis


Source: Stanley B. Greenberg

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UK Post-Election Results (PDF - 7 K)

UK Post-Election Graphs (PDF - 45 K)

Executive Summary

May 17, 2010. Washington, DC. This unique post-election poll goes deep on the reasons why voters voted as they did last Thursday and their hopes for the future and Britain. This was the first reform election in some time. Liberal Democrat and Tory voters voted for change, as well as electoral reform, and majorities now favor alternatives to the current first-past-the post system and public funding of campaigns.

Key Findings

The conservatives failed to make it an ideological election and failed to dislodge Labour on the economy or public services. Few voters supported Tories because of their "big society" or low-tax themes and they failed to move the country from its progressive or center-left worldview. The voters that gave the government its mandate also want more financial regulation, not less; more government involvement, not more markets; taxes rather than public service cuts; and more government investment, not more freedom of enterprise. About 60 percent of all voters favored these, including 70 percent of those who voted for Liberal Democrats.

While the conservatives emerged as the biggest party in Parliament, they failed to deliver electoral changes that would suggest a new hegemony. They failed to establish dominance with young voters or beyond the rural areas such as in London or the suburbs.

The survey is full of implications for the leadership election. Labour supporters are divided on the big question of whether Labour should seek to be the leading party again or whether it should seek to be the leading party in a center-left coalition. Labour voters want to continue as new Labour but are divided on the role of unions.

A majority of last Thursday's voters are ready to support a very bold attack on Britain's debt. Even more would like to see a bold attack on inequality and unfairness, but that is not on the table.

Methodology

These results are based on a survey conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research that fielded May 7-9, 2010 and was conducted among 1000 general election voters in the United Kingdom. It has a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent.

Listen to Stanley Greenberg's presentation of the survey at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce on May 17, 2010.