The public’s negative opinion of the coalition government could have a ‘profound impact’ on the electoral success of Ukip, the Greens and the Scottish National Party, according to Manchester University research.
British Election Study professors warned that people are much less likely to vote for either Labour or the Conservatives come May due to the impending prospect of another coalition government – making voters believe a vote for a major party is wasted.
Around 14% of a sample of 16,000 people surveyed online this month, believe neither the Conservatives or Labour will win a majority vote.
Professor Fieldhouse, from the University of Manchester, explained why minor parties could thrive in May’s Election.
“These findings shows that voters’ experience with coalition is intrinsically linked to understanding the 2015 general election and are likely to have a profound impact,” he said.
“Parties will be keen not to alienate their supporters, and so we can understand, for example, the SNP’s decision to rule out any deal with the Conservatives, but to leave open the possibility of a confidence and supply arrangement with Labour.”
An increase in minor party votes could leading to a disproportionately greater influence on a predicted hung parliament – where no single political party has an absolute majority of seats in Parliament.
The professor believed that UKIP supporters were also against a coalition government due to their strong policies.
“What is also intriguing is the preference of UKIP voters for a single-majority Conservative government,” he said.
“This most likely reflects two things: the fact that the majority of UKIP voters are former Conservative voters – and many do not wish to see a Con-Lib coalition or a Lab-Lib coalition, given UKIP’s ideological distance from these left-of-centre parties.”
Professor Green, also from Manchester University, explained why some people were against another coalition government.
“The current coalition government blurs policy and ideological distinctions between parties, therefore making a clearer policy-based party more appealing for voters,” he said.
In the run up to May, the Liberal Democrats and Greens have doubled their support, UKIP have added a third and the SNP have seen an astonishing quadrupling.
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