From – Fascinating!

The text below is taken from Charter2010 and makes fascinating reading. We are definitely on the right track.

As 15 out of 17 most recent opinion polls indicate that a hung parliament is a likely result of the 2010 General Election, a nationwide poll by Populus shows that almost nine in ten voters (89 per cent) believe that, in those circumstances, it would be “in Britain’s best interests for the political parties to work together and try to agree on measures to address the country’s economic and financial crisis”.

They roundly reject by three to one (75 per cent to 25 per cent) the conventional wisdom that a hung result should be followed by “another General Election to be held fairly soon in the hope that one or other party would win an overall majority and be able to form a government on its own”. Three quarters would prefer “all the parties to agree that there should not be another election for four years and to resolve to work together on the country’s urgent problems”.

By the same margin the voters choose, as being in Britain’s best interests, “the party with most votes working together with other parties in a coalition government to deal with the country’s urgent economic problems”. Only a quarter believe there should be a “second general election to try to get a clear majority for one party”.

There is little comfort for Labour or the Conservatives in the figures. The Labour Government was elected in 2005 with 35 per cent of the total vote; most polls put the Conservatives around 40 per cent at present. When asked “what would be the best outcome for Britain in terms of dealing sensibly with the country’s major problems”, only 30 per cent of those polled thought “a government made up of a single political party but which four in ten of the electorate – or fewer – had voted for”. Seven in ten preferred “a government made up of a coalition of parties that between them had been voted for by more than half the electorate”.

For the Liberal Democrats there was a different message. About the same number of voters (31 per cent) would support the Lib Dems if they believed they would hold the balance of power in the House of Commons as if they thought they would get a majority (29 per cent). So it seems there is no need for them to campaign only on what many see as an unrealistic platform of “winning” the election. They would command just as much support if they talked openly about plans to co-operate with other parties in the event of a hung parliament.

The poll was conducted for Charter 2010, the independent non-party group of politicians, businesspeople, academics and opinion formers who advocate that the parties should plan now for the eventuality of a hung parliament. Charter 2010 proposes, in those circumstances, that a multi-party supported government for a fixed term of four years would provide the stability to get to grips with Britain’s difficulties. It urges party leaders to say now that they are open to this approach in the event of a hung parliament and to agree how they would proceed to achieve it if necessary.

Former Labour and SDP MP Mike Thomas, moderator of the Charter 2010 website, said: “This poll shows how much Britain’s political system is out of step with commonsense and public opinion. If the major parties think they will command the electors’ support if they try a re-run of the disastrous experience of 1974-76 (if, like then, there is a hung parliament in 2010) they should think again.

“If there is a hung parliament, the public want the parties to work together to solve Britain’s problems. They see the sense of a stable multi-party supported government which would have majority electoral support. They want the parties to put aside narrow party interest for the national interest. Not unstable minority government, political manoeuvring and the threat of a second election.

“David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg should say now that, in the event of a hung parliament, this will be their approach.”



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