Public favour political co-operation over second election, ERS poll finds

7 May 15

A majority of the public would prefer political parties to work together following today’s general election if no party wins outright, rather than going for a second election, a poll for the Electoral Reform Society has found.

According to the survey, 54% of public want parties to reach a power-sharing agreement rather than holding a second poll later in the year.

However, one-third of those polled (33%) said they would prefer a second election before Christmas.

Backing for parties working together being strong among all voters from the UK’s main political parties.

The representative poll of 1,013 adults, conducted by BMG Research, found that a majority of voters for the Conservatives (57%), Labour (59%) and Liberal Democrats (83%) all backed inter-party cooperation over a second election.

However, only 39% of UKIP supporters backed inter-party cooperation over a second election.

Those in London are most likely to back power-sharing, with 61% in favour, while voters in Scotland – where the Holyrood parliament has seen several power-sharing agreements in the past – close behind at 57%.
Darren Hughes, deputy chief executive of the ERS, said the public were overwhelmingly in favour of parties working together.

‘What we’ve seen in this election period is the two main parties pursuing the fantasy of a majority, instead of dealing with the reality that they should work with other parties – as happens in countless nations around the world.

‘Sadly this is a feature of our unfair and out-dated voting system, with parties still stuck in the majoritarian mind-set of the past. People’s voting habits have changed – they are shopping around and voting for different parties – but our voting system hasn’t caught up.

‘It’s time to put voting reform on the agenda so that how people are actually voting is reflected in numbers of seats – and so that any power-sharing deals are based on a truly democratic result.’

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