Attitudes to a Hung Parliament

The British public's view of an election outcome giving no party an overall majority, measured at and before general elections since 1979, as well as after the 2010 election

(See also Coalition preferences in the event of a hung Parliament)

1978-9

Q Do you think it will be a good thing or a bad thing for the country if no party achieves an overall majority?

  11 September 1978 16-17 April 1979
  % %
Good thing 14 20
Bad thing 73 65
Don't know 15 15

Base: c. 1,200 GB adults aged 18+

1983

Q Do you think it will be a good thing or a bad thing for the country if no party achieves an overall majority?

  12 May 1983
  %
Good thing 21
Bad thing 63
Don't know 16

Base: 964 GB adults aged 18+

1986-7

Q Suppose no party achieves an overall majority in the next general election sufficient to be able to carry out its policies without the support of other parties. Do you think it would be a good thing or a bad thing for the country ?

  June 1986 15-18 August 1986 17-21 October 1986 9-13 December 1986 20-25 February 1987 24-28 April 1987
  % % % % % %
Good thing 28 29 26 27 30 27
Bad thing 50 51 52 49 48 54
Neither  6 6 5 6 6 5
Don't know  16 14 17 17 15 13

Base: c. 1,750 GB adults aged 18+

1992

Q On balance, do you think that a hung Parliament, with no party having an overall majority, would be good or bad for Britain?

  30 March 1992
  %
Good for Britain 26
Bad for Britain 58
Don't know 18

Base: 1,080 GB adults aged 18+

2010-14 - national polls

Q (Pre-election) Do you think it will be a good thing or a bad thing for the country if no party achieves an overall majority? Q (Post-election) As you may know, the general election on May 6th resulted in a hung parliament where no party had an overall majority. Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing for the country that no party achieved an overall majority?

  Pre-election  Post election
  23 April 2010* 5 May 2010 12-13 May 2010  12-14 November 2010 15-17 April    2011** 11-14 January 2014**
  % % % %  %  %
Good thing 34 30 40 38  34  32
Bad thing 57 55 52 55  58  60
Don't know 9 15 8 7  8  8

Base: c. 1,000-1,200 GB adults aged 18+

*Asked as "Thinking about the outcome of the election on May 6th, do you think ...?"

**Asked as "As you will know...?"

2010 - polls in marginal constituencies

Q Do you think it will be a good thing or a bad thing for the country if no party achieves an overall majority?

  16-19 April 2010 23-26 April 2010 30 April- 2 May 2010
  % % %
Good thing 43 37 35
Bad thing 48 53 54
Don't know 9 9 10

Base: c. 1,000 adults aged 18+ in Labour-held constituencies vulnerable to the Conservatives on a 5%-9% swing

 

2014

Q Thinking about the next general election, do you think it will be a good thing or a bad thing for the country if no party achieves an overall majority?

  11-14 January 2014
  %
Good thing 26
Bad thing 65
Don't know 9

 

Q Regardless of your personal views of coalitions, how likely or unlikely do you think it is that there will be another coalition government after the next general election?

  11-14 January 2014
  %
Very likely 14
Fairly likely 37
Fairly unlikely 29
Very unlikely 16
 Don't know  4
 Very/fairly likely  51
 Very/fairly unlikely  45

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