SOON we’ll know if Britain is to be governed by a hung parliament for the first time since 1974.
If it is, the graph shown will help explain it: Nick Clegg’s buzz, as measured by the “TellYouGov” component of BrandIndex, has been strong ever since the first debate, but at the same time the LibDem’s polling performance on policy has been in decline.
This contradiction, between the public preference for Clegg’s anti-politician personality versus their preference for Conservative policy creates a confused picture.
Will a hung parliament be a noose round Britain’s neck?
Research from YouGov and Financial Dynamics shows that 37 per cent of the British population seem to think so, agreeing that the lack of a parliamentary majority would “make things worse for the country as a whole”.
However, one in four believes that this would “make things better for the country”.
Conservative supporters were most concerned at the prospect, as 74 per cent felt that a hung parliament would make things worse, against only six per cent who thought it would improve things.
This contrasted with almost half (49 per cent) of Liberal Democrat supporters, who were optimistic about the possibility of a hung parliament, or a “balanced parliament” as they sometimes refer to it. Labour supporters were more split in their opinion, with 34 per cent believing a hung parliament will have an adverse impact on the country while 25 per cent believe it will have the opposite effect.
Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and co-chief executive of YouGov