As the British general election campaign races towards its culmination on May 6, it’s increasingly obvious that the U.S. is hardly the only place where voters are in a bad mood. Virtually all of the polls show the Tories falling short of the 40% or so of the popular vote that would probably give them a parliamentary majority. And in a “hung parliament” scenario, the most likely result would be a coalition government involving Labour and the Liberal Democrats.
Dysfunctional as it sounds, the “hung parliament” scenario seems to be one that an awful lot of Britons prefer, according to a poll from Populus commissioned by the Times of London:
The poll shows that 32 per cent of the public hope for a hung Parliament, against 28 per cent who want a Tory majority and 22 per cent a Labour one. Lib Dem voters prefer a deal with Labour in a hung Parliament.
Populus also underlines the extent of disenchantment: a mere 4 per cent think that the parties are being completely honest with voters about their tax plans and only 6 per cent about their approaches to cutting the deficit.
Twenty-five per cent said that they thought that the Tories had put across the most convincing case so far, and 18 per cent said Labour. However, 43 per cent were unconvinced by any party.
Leaders of the three major parties will hold the first of three televised debates tomorrow night. But it’s unclear how many voters will be watching, or in any meaningful sense, listening.